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Thread: What are home health nurses responsible for?

  1. #1

    Question What are home health nurses responsible for?

    I have a quick question about home health services. I recently had an open hernia repair and am supposed to be receiving home PT, OT, and nursing for a month. The only service that has been here when they said they would is the physical therapist. The nurse has canceled on me twice and the OT is just extremely unprofessional. I know that it is the holiday weekend but is this reasonable to accept or should I be rightly upset by any of this? I am mostly upset about the nursing services since those are what I really need right now!! I was told they were going to come on Friday and ended up calling the agency because nobody had called me to set up a time. They told me I was on the schedule for Saturday (today). About 2pm, the nurse called me telling me that she wasn't going to be able to see me today due to her overpacked schedule. Any suggestions on how I should handle this would be most helpful and appreciated!! Thanks so much!!

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  2. #2
    Hi "bcsimpsons,"
    Sorry you are having these difficulties, especially over a holiday weekend, which makes getting in touch with the administrators of the agency very problematic.

    Who ordered the services, can you call them to complain about not receiving the services ordered? Did you have a written, signed contract with this agency to provide these services? Do you have an emergency, after hours contact number to get you in touch with an administrator, supervisor, or scheduler? If you do, you will probably get a service answering your phone calls, but call now and call often explaining the urgency of needing the contracted services, until you get to someone who can solve your problem.

    Who is paying for these services? If it is insurance, call them to complain that services promised are not being delivered. If this is an insurance contract, I would report the incident to your state insurance commissioner. If it is a personal contract, I would refuse payment and report the problem to whatever licensing board in your city, county and/or state gives them the right to operate their type of business.

    Hope you get the help you expected and need.

    All the best,
    GJ

  3. #3
    The services were ordered by my surgeon. I did sign the initial paperwork about HIPPA and such at my evals. The agency is actually through a hospital and they are a 24 hour/7 day a week agency. I don't know how urgent it is but I want to receive the services that my insurance is paying for. I am worried about the fever that I am running and the pain that I am still having.

    My insurance is paying for the services. I honestly don't know what calling my insurance company would do. I mean they aren't going to call the agency or anything. I am definitely going to call the agency this evening and bitch them out!!

    I guess my main question was, how bitchy do I have the right to be on the phone with this agency?

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  4. #4
    Call the nurse back and tell them that they are contracted for your care, and will need to find someone, or even get someone from a different agency to cover their contracted obligations. This is worth a try. If there is a nursing supervisor on duty for the weekend, insist on speaking to them.

    On Tuesday, call the agency and speak to the head nurse/nursing director. You may have to threaten to call the state Health Department and/or the Joint Commission (if they are accredited) to file a complaint. Also notify the physician and/or discharge planner who set this up. They need to find a different agency for you.

    I always hate making discharge arrangements for a Friday or the day before a holiday. Avoid being discharged on days such as this. Something ALWAYS goes wrong, and there is no way to reach the people who can fix it.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Thanks for the advice KLD!! I will do this definitely. Just as a side note.... I was discharged on Tuesday. The nurse and PT came and did their eval on Wednesday. The OT didn't come until this morning. The nurse has not been back and the PT came again on Friday. Like I said, the only one who seems to be doing their job is the PT... GRRRR!!!! Thanks again!!

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  6. #6
    No advice Becky, but sorry for your troubles.
    Let us know what happens after you follow what KLD advised.

  7. #7
    Becky,
    I am experiencing the same kinds of problems. IMO these agencies are run for the convenience of workers who have little or no commitment to their patients and professions. Bitching and threatening help a little, but as the sayng goes, "you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Hope you fare better than me. They are just not dependable.
    55
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    Becky,
    I am experiencing the same kinds of problems. IMO these agencies are run for the convenience of workers who have little or no commitment to their patients and professions. Bitching and threatening help a little, but as the sayng goes, "you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." Hope you fare better than me. They are just not dependable.
    55
    I bet the bills for their services are reliable.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bcsimpsons View Post
    My insurance is paying for the services. I honestly don't know what calling my insurance company would do. I mean they aren't going to call the agency or anything. Becky
    In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that healthcare is so expensive in this country. Your insurance company should care that you are getting the services for which they are paying and you need to let them know when you are not getting those services. If for no other reason, than when it comes to letting contracts the next time, the insurance company has issues to iron out with selected and preferred providers before granting contracts.

    All the best,
    GJ

  10. #10

    HHC Employees- be careful

    Make sure you lock up your checkbook, credit cards, valuables and meds. HHC companies are required to do criminal background checks but they can and do hire people with criminal records. A CNA in my home stole 5 blank checks from my checkbook, passed them out to her friends and forged them, to the tune of $1,500. I ended up having to sue the HHC company after the employee was convicted of theft and forgery.

    I filed a freedom of information act request with the state DHHS on the company and found out how many complaints had been made about them. fyi the company was Interim home care. But even the best HHC can have one bad apple so be safe.

    Get on the phone with the nursing supervisor or whoever and threaten to file a complaint with your state DHHS unless they get the appropriate staff out there ASAP. If they have a bad attitude go with a different company. Some HHC's are great; some are just bad businesses that hire the cheapest labor possible w/ almost no employee supervision to max their profits.

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