Home Health Care Agency

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Doglady

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I was shocked this week to hear from my home health care agency that they no longer will provide care for private pay clients and I need to find another provider. Fairview is a big agency here with a great reputation and connected to a university, a system of hospitals and numerous doctors' clinics. My ALS clinic is part of the overall system and they were not even notified ahead of either the decision or notifying their clients. I intentionally have set it up so all of my medical care is offered through their system. I know there is nothing to be done but what kind of organization pulls the rug out from under people like this? Apparently, I signed up with them during the period of time they were contemplating this action - couldn't they have put a temporary hold on accepting new clients? It has really tainted my opinion of the entire Fairview system. What else are they capable of? So, any recommendations for a great agency???
 

lgelb

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Not knowing your city, I could not do a more precise search but here (though I know you are self-pay) are the top-rated MN agencies by the Medicare rubric, as a rough cut of some agencies you may want to explore. You may also want to look at the hospice agency ratings here.

You can never have too much information -- ask around, look at Yelp, NextDoor, etc. It sounds macabre but people sometimes also thank agencies in obituaries or if you know a family that has had care at home, you can ask.

Best,
Laurie
 

Doglady

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Thanks so much Laurie. I’m in Minneapolis. Those are some very good points.
 

nona

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I would look into Bayada. I had a good experience with them in AZ and my sister is a hospice social worker with them in Vermont and is treated well as an employee. I don't know if they have a presence in MN..
 

Doglady

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Thanks, Nona. I’ll check it out. Fingers crossed!
 

Narrowminded

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Good luck. Nursing was one of the biggest issues I faced with my DH. Sending positive nurse hunting vibes.
 

Doglady

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Thank you for positive vibes. It has been upsetting to be up in the air and have to start over again. Last night sleep was very elusive.

While it was interesting to look into Bayada and learn more about them and their recent switch to non profit - they don’t have service in my area. They sound very good, Nona!

I’ve checked out the links from Laurie, called the social worker at my clinic and someone in the Respite Care program at my local ALS Assn. All to get names to research further. Fairview has partnered with One company and is referring to them so will include them too. Spreadsheet time! Anybody know about Care Builders?
 

KimT

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If you're a self pay, why not call all the local colleges that have CNA/nursing programs and hire some people you can train.

I did that with my housemate's mom. I found five CNAs who worked at an agency for $9 an hour and offered them $12 an hour. I did a schedule with alternates so she would have full coverage.

I so hate this part of ALS.

We desperately need health care reform in the US that includes better home health care.
 

lgelb

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As Kim points out, since you are private pay, you don't need an agency, and you can cut out the middleman's share that way.

I would post for part-time help at local colleges, universities and CNA trade schools. Those postings are free or nominal cost. So, for example, almost all our help came from students at the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, mostly pre-nursing students, some of whom stayed around when they entered nursing school (I wrote a lot of recommendation letters.)

You can also post on craigslist and care.com if you choose, though I tried the former experimentally and did not have good results. But once you get one good person, they often know others to help fill in the times you need. Then they can trade times among themselves when needed.
 

Doglady

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Hmmm. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with private arrangements. It would be up to me to keep on top of everything and I’m assuming that will eventually be too much. I was also thinking of that but they would at least need to be licensed as I’m going to get some reimbursement from insurance. I’ve got two companies I’ve checked out and going to have meetings with next week. Thanks!
 

Narrowminded

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If you do decide to look into the schools, even for a 1-2 hour time for you to shop etc, also contact Physical Therapy schools. My DD has been helping others this way. First a women who also had ALS, and boy she had experience from her Dad, and now a gal who has other issues. The fact that they are PT’s also can help you with ROM exercises while they are there. Just some thoughts.
 

Nikki J

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If you have longterm care insurance they may require you to use an agency to be reimbursed. My sister had John Hancock and this was the case. Even if the person held a license they could not be employed privately if the charges were submitted to JH
 

Lkaibel

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We were with Fairview Home Care and Hospice. There was some mumbling about this when my late husband was receiving care. We were in a patchwork with 6 bath aide hours per week (Medicare covered), nurse and Doctor visits for hospice (covered) and the rest n private pay, which we did as about 12 hours a week with Fairview at $40.00 an hour and the test I did as a private for $20 an hour with a woman we knew. Fairview randomly threatened to discontinue service of the private pay hours last Fall based on a policy change and then said “never mind”. I also came to learn that those 12 hours they were telling me were not Medicare eligible likely WERE eligible. Thanks for coating us 20k, Fairview...

We did need to use an agency for some private pay hours so we could get reimbursed through our HSA. When we thought they were going to drop us on private pay hours, I did talk to Alina and they sounded feasible. Best wishes with your shopping!

We went to Dr Walk at the U of M as I presume you are. I loved many things about him, I was less impressed with his staff at times.
 

Doglady

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Yes, I’m with Dr Walk and I like him a lot. Fairview has been great the short time I’ve used them. But they do seem very disorganized and it’s been hard with so many people making decisions and changing their mind on the arrangements. I only started with them in May. Since they had anticipated the elimination of private pay care last fall and decided in January, as i’ve heard lately - why didn’t they tell me before I signed up? So sorry about your needlessly paying out $20K! That’s a huge drag.

I looked at Alina and from the website gathered they just do hospice which I think Fairview will continue to do. I’m thinking of staying with Fairview for the Respite hours they say they will continue and finding someone else for a total of 3 hours a day. For now that will be enough.

I’m considering Care Builders and Synergy. Heard of them? Or Legacy and Regency???
 

Lkaibel

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Care Builders was mentioned to us also. I think you might want to try them, I heard good things from a former patient. Synergy was not as reliable with Aides, which incidentally is an issue we did have with Fairview.

We very much liked Dr Walk. Organization and coordination with his staff was sometimes an issue. He gave my husband he Dx and was intensely kind, unlike the rather flippant young Neurologist who first discussed ALS with us.
 
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