Services > Cancer Center > Health Library

Choosing a Provider

Choosing a provider

Finding appropriate home health and hospice care providers requires some research. You will need to consult with your�doctor 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 mandated 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?