Guest Post Author: Preeya D’Mello | Repisodic
Many people require follow-up care after leaving the hospital to help in the recovery from an injury, illness, or surgical procedure. This after hospital care, often referred to as post-acute care, is a key step in the recovery journey.
- It can improve a patient’s health outcomes
- decrease their out-of-pocket healthcare costs, and
- lower their chance of being readmitted to the hospital due to health complications.
To ensure a smooth care transition out of the hospital and to make sure you or your loved one gets the best post-hospital treatment, it’s important to put together a good discharge plan and properly evaluate all of your follow-up care options.
Effective discharge is especially important for seniors since they often experience more complications in the discharge process. As a caregiver, you serve as an advocate for the patient and play a key role in helping your loved one navigate follow-up care and recovery.
3 Steps to Finding Post-Hospital Caregiving That is Right For You
When your loved one is ready to leave the hospital, it’s important to talk to their care team about your ability to provide post-hospital care and if/what potential limitations may exist. If you have a job beyond being a caretaker or have children to take care of, you may have limited time to provide care for your loved one. Additionally, if your loved one has significant medical follow-up care needs, professional rehabilitation through a home health agency or residential rehabilitation location may be a more appropriate option.
Identifying a follow-up care option that best addresses the personal and medical needs of the patient can be an emotional and challenging task. It’s important to take the selection process step by step to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Determine the right follow-up care provider who understands the patient’s medical needs.
Talk to your loved one’s care team to identify what type of follow-up care provider is the best option.
- If the patient has a complex medical condition and requires intense rehabilitation at a residential facility, a long-term care hospital or an inpatient rehabilitation facility is probably the best option.
- If the patient does not have a complex medical condition and requires only basic rehabilitative support, a skilled nursing facility may be more appropriate.
- If the patient doesn’t have significant medical needs and is able to receive follow-up care in the home setting, home health care may be best.
- If the patient has a specific medical need (diabetes, chronic disease, wound care, etc.), you can narrow down your search by evaluating facilities based on what specialty care they can provide.
Verify your loved one’s insurance coverage.
When selecting a follow-up care provider, it’s important to consider your payment options and understand what the insurance policy will and will not cover.
Medicare and private insurers typically cover at least a component of follow-up care if the physician determines that it is medically required. However, remember that each policy is different and you should verify with the follow-up care provider whether or not they accept your loved one’s insurance.
After verifying insurance coverage, you can narrow down your options based on quality measures. Quality measures of a follow-up care provider are strong indicators of the quality and level of care and rehabilitation that they provide.
Types of metrics change depending on the type of provider, however, comparing similar metrics between providers is a good way to evaluate which will be able to best address your loved one’s needs. Additionally, comparing metrics to state and national averages can put them in context to help you make an informed decision.
It’s helpful to visit the location or talk to staff members at the agency.
By doing this, you can evaluate how your loved one will fit in at a given residential location or how a home health agency will be able to address your loved one’s personal needs.
repisodic Understands and Has Developed Care Match to Help!
repisodic is a digital health company that works with families, hospitals, and follow-up care providers to guide patients through the post-hospital care selection process. repisodic.com has over 36,000 profiles of post-acute care providers across the country with pictures, quality metrics, patient reviews, and more. repisodic also offers follow-up care resources such as informational guides, educational videos, and provider checklists to help you make an informed decision about follow-up care.
Care Match is a free online resource that can be found at repisodic.com. This service connects you to a repisodic care coordinator, or Care Match representative, who will show you the best follow-up care options near you or your loved one.
This feature can be used for people transitioning out of the hospital and back to their home setting who are looking for home health care or home care services. It can also be used for people who are moving from a hospital to a residential rehabilitation location such as a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital. Some patients who may be leaving the hospital are no longer looking for rehabilitation or treatment and instead are looking for palliative care. Care Match can help identify the best home hospice care providers or hospice care centers that best meet the needs of you or your loved one.
About the Author
Preeya D’Mello works at repisodic, a healthcare company that helps patients, families, and caregivers find the highest quality personalized post-acute care. After graduating with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and working at a medical device company, Preeya is excited to be working closer to patient care by building out her company’s free consumer products and resources. Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/repisodic/ and on Twitter: @repisodicinc