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    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
    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

    Comment


      #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!!

      Comment


        #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)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


          #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!!

          Comment


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

            Comment


              #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/

              Comment


                #8
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  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

                  Comment


                    #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.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Becks, my best advice is to be calm, insistent, and persistent rather than being bitchy. I'd tell the nurse and whoever is supervising this weekend that you are running a fever, suspect that your surgical site is infected, and being taken off the schedule is absolutely unacceptable. Make it clear that unless you are seen first thing tomorrow and again on Monday, you will be reporting the agency's failure to provide the contracted services to the state licensing board, your insurance company, and your surgeon on Tuesday. I'd also mention that you will not hesitate to report the nurse to the state board of nursing.

                      I'm so sorry that you're having to do battle with the agency on top of the potential infection! It's about time some good things came your way -- you're long overdue for a break from all these problems.
                      It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

                      ~Julius Caesar

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've come to the conclusion that the agencies want to only help little old ladies to the commode and cut their toast.
                        No agency in our area will even accept my husband.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I am so sorry Becky that you are going through this. I think it is completely unacceptable and you should feel free to be as aggressive about it as you want. Spreading the word about your experience, and letting them know (after you're done needing them) you are going to do it, seems a good idea too. Your doctor definitely should know to send people elsewhere. I wonder also if someone higher up in the chain might be interested in knowing the reputation that that office is creating (my Interim is really good). They need to learn their complete cavalier disregard for your needs and their responsibilities is not going to fly. I would think they would be concerned about liability issues, would be interested in hearing a nurse's thoughts about that.

                          Sorry for my rant. I know that doesn't get you the help you need right now. I would expect your doctor's office has someone on call. I would call them and tell them you haven't received services and let them know the risks it is creating and how it is compromising your recovery. There might be able to get a quicker response than you.

                          I always have had really great nurses – PTs – OTs, and I am very lucky now to have a wonderful team of caregivers. But I also have encountered the least ethical people I ever have met in my life as home health aides, and agency owners too. It never ceases to amaze me. Do be careful of your belongings.

                          ---------------------------------
                          oh, I see thehipcrip was smarter and more rational. I' d take her device.
                          Last edited by Random; 3 Sep 2011, 10:03 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks to all for all of your advice!! I did put all of my important belongings/documents In a room that I am able to lock. I do not need my checkbook or really much money for that matter at the moment so even all of that is locked up.

                            I ended up calling the agency last night. This is how the conversation went...

                            ME: Hi I would like to lodge a formal complaint
                            AGENCY: Can't this wait until Tuesday?
                            ME: No, actually it can't!!
                            AGENCY: Oh well ok, whats the complaint
                            ME: I want to report the unprofessional way that my case is being handled/supervised. I was discharged from the hospital last Tuesday and had an eval for PT and nursing come out on Wednesday. On Thursday the OT called me while I was still sleeping both on my home phone and on my cell in the matter of 5 minutes without even giving me an opportunity to respond. I had a doctor appointment about an hour after that and was unable to call before then to confirm her eval. The OT then calls me yet again while I"m in the doctors office. I no sooner leave the office and my mom is calling me from work telling me that an OT has called her asking her why I have not returned her phone call. (Mind you, it had only been an hour since her first call). I think it is extremely rude that an individual does not give time for the other person to even return the call and on top of that calls my mother at her place of employment!!! Later on Thursday the nurse calls me asking me how my appointment went and to remind me that she would be coming again the next day. I asked her what time and she didn't have her schedule yet. I said ok no problem. See you tomorrow. Well, Friday comes around and the PT shows up as scheduled and I am waiting to hear from the nurse. 1pm- no call, 3pm- no call, 5pm- no call. Finally at 6pm I decided to call the main number and ask what was going on. I was told that I had been taken off the schedule and would be seen the next day. This was also fine since I had arranged with the OT to have the eval done on Saturday. However, I need them to come in the morning because my mother and I were going to try to go to my cousins bachelorette party if I was feeling up to it. The OT came and was completely rude. She was talking down to me like I was an idiot. The nurse finally calls me at 2pm and tells me she is sorry but she still has x-number of patients to see and can't see me today. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNPROFESSIONAL!!!! Why am I even getting services from you people if nobody shows up to do their job. Or if they show up, they treat me like I have five heads and don't know what I'm talking about!!
                            AGENCY: Oh ok well, I'll have a supervisor call you back. Thank you for your call....
                            30 minutes later......
                            ME: Hello
                            SUPERVISOR: Hello this is Mrs X. May I please speak to Rebecca.
                            ME: This is
                            SUPERVISOR: Hello, I am a supervisor from x agency. I hear you have a complaint.
                            ME: (Repeat of the entire speech from above)
                            SUPERVISOR: Oh I see..... well I just called the nurse who was supposed to see you today and she said that she had talked to your mother who said not to come today.
                            ME: What???????? Nobody talked to my mother today. I answered the phone when the nurse called.
                            SUPERVISOR: Oh thats not what the nurse told me. She said she called twice, left her number, and finally spoke with your mother who told her not to come.
                            ME: That is completely untrue!! She called once, left no number, and spoke with me!
                            SUPERVISOR: Well I"m sorry but its the holiday weekend so the next time someone can come out would be Tuesday. I will put you on the schedule for that day. Thank you for calling...... CLICK

                            Yep, seriously, I was hung up on!!!!

                            So apparently I am stuck here for the next two days/nights with no nurse to check on this fever. I am feeling like shit- which I am thinking should have been my opening line to this supervisor .

                            Anyway, theres the update and thanks again for all of the support/advice on how to handle this!!

                            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!!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              How high is your fever? What does your incision and the area around it look like? If it is higher than 101F and the area is hard, red, and more swollen, you can't wait until Tuesday. Call your physician's on-call service, and then plan to go to the ER. This agency should have have accepted your case since it is clear they knew they would not be able to provide you with the timely services ordered.

                              On Tuesday, ask the physician to order a different home health agency, and take action to file a formal complaint against this one as described above.

                              (KLD)
                              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                              Comment

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