Finding the Right Providers (Part 2 of 2)
In our last post on post-acute care, we explored the basics of what post-acute care is, including the four types of environments in which patients recuperate after they are discharged from the hospital.
And, most importantly, AZHHA armed you with the Post-Acute Care Patient Placement Guide, an easy-to-use decision-making tree, to help consumers and health care professionals alike in selecting the right type of care for each patient.
Now, it’s time to delve into actually making the selection of which provider.
Choosing a Quality Provider You Can Afford
Although local resources aren’t necessarily scarce when it comes to researching providers for post-acute care, they are scattered. Here’s a list that will help break it down:
The Arizona Department of Health Services offers an online listing of deficiencies to help you pare down your list of providers. You’ll want to select “HOSPITAL-REHABILITATION” or “HOSPITAL-LONG TERM” from the Licensing/Certification drop-down, and come prepared with a listing of provider names, or simply search by, say, zip code and a list will appear.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers a “Five-Star Quality Rating System,” or compare tool, for home health and nursing homes. It looks at health inspections, staffing and overall quality, but does neglect to add provider addresses and identify the types of care you may need.
A Google or Yelp search provides scores of information. For example, place “Skilled Nursing Facility” and your zip code into the search bar, and plenty of providers pop up, often with star ratings.
5 Telling Clues You May Have a Quality Provider on Your Hands
- The provider is transparent. Patients deserve details when making important choices. Providers who are open and honest provide a framework of success.
- The provider offers integrated healthcare. The means that the provider has employees whose job it is to collaborate and communicate among the providers that make up the patient’s care in total.
- The provider actually offers the services you need. Oftentimes patients are discharged to a setting that does not include the clinical services or professionals required for recovery. Be sure to ask, and arm yourself with AZHHA’s Post-Acute Care Patient Placement Guide.
- The provider accepts your insurance. Sure, this might not be a quality or star rating, but it’s important. Extended rehabilitation will put a mighty dent in your budget if you unknowingly end up paying out-of-pocket, or are out-of-network.
- The provider has good reviews. Nowadays health providers get ratings, too. Don’t forget to include the Better Business Bureau in your online search, and don’t rule out asking your social media network for recommendations. People are always happy to tell you of success stories, or the opposite. Just be sure to take the feedback with a grain of salt unless they are a close personal connection you trust.