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Choosing a Provider

Finding appropriate home health and hospice care providers requires some research. You will need to talk with your health care provider to evaluate your home health or hospice care needs. When looking for a provider, consider the following:

  • Quality of care

  • Availability of services

  • Personnel training and expertise

  • Payer coverage

Evaluating the quality of a provider

When evaluating the quality of a provider, you may encounter the following terms:

  • Licensure. Some states require providers to have licenses to operate. Basic legal and operating requirements as directed by the state must be met to obtain a license.

  • Bonding. A bond is a type of insurance policy for a provider. To become "bonded," a provider must pay a set amount. The bond protects the provider from bankruptcy in the event of a lawsuit by a consumer.

  • Certification. State certification by state health departments makes a home health or hospice care provider eligible for Medicare (and sometimes Medicaid) payments. To become certified, a provider must meet basic federal and state standards in patient care and financial management.

    Certified health care professionals are certified by their respective national organizations. The certification usually requires passing a national test and/or work experience.

  • Accreditation. Nationally recognized accrediting organizations evaluate and accredit quality health care services. A provider must voluntarily seek out this accreditation. Some organizations who accredit home health care include:

    • Accreditation Commission for Home Care, Inc.

    • Community Health Accreditation Program

    • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

    • National Committee for Quality Assurance

    • National Home Caring Council

Questions to ask when choosing a provider

When choosing a provider, consider asking the following questions:

  • How many years has the provider been serving the community?

  • Does the provider have literature describing its services, cost, and funding?

  • Is an evaluation of the patient's home health care needs required? Is there a written plan of care for the patient?

  • When are caregivers available?

  • Is there a nursing supervisor on-call 24 hours a day?

  • Can the provider ensure patient confidentiality?

  • How is quality of care and services monitored?

  • What types of payments are accepted?

The National Association for home care and hospice will provide you with the most comprehensive database of agencies available in the United States.

Choosing a Provider - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Buslovich, Steven, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Taylor, Wanda, RN, Ph.D.
Last Review Date: 2015-05-23T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-07-17T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-07-17T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

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Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

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If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to www.mywellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

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If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

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