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Home Health Care

The Luminaria medal is awarded to individuals in our community who have helped light the path to compassionate patient care through their significant contributions to Home Care and other health care programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a non-profit organization?taking blood pressure

How do I know if the home health agency I choose is reputable and provides top quality care?

Are all Visiting Nurse Associations (VNAs) part of the same organization?

Will my insurance pay for home health care services?

Can I receive home health care or home personal care if my insurance doesn’t cover the services and/or I am experiencing a financial hardship?

How does a patient begin receiving services?

How long will I receive home health care?

What happens during the first home visit?

How long do most home care visits last?

What happens with my care between visits?

How does hospice nursing care differ from traditional skilled nursing care?

How can I contact my nurse or clinician?

What if I need help at night or on weekends?

Can I receive assistance with personal care, meal preparation, and/or light housekeeping?

What are my rights as a patient?

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Are you a non-profit organization?

Yes. We are one of the state’s largest non-profit providers of Medicare-certified home health care. As the region’s oldest hospital-based home care agency, South Shore Visiting Nurse Association (SSVNA) has been bringing quality, compassionate skilled care to South Shore communities since 1911.

How do I know if the home health agency I choose is reputable and provides top quality care?

Home health care agencies that are Medicare-certified, state licensed, and accredited are reviewed and audited on a regular basis, which means they must meet high standards. All staff and volunteers at such at certified facilities are carefully screened, trained, and supervised. It is your right to ask for this information. You should be selective about anyone you invite into your home to provide care for you or your loved one. The best way to select a home health care provider is to call and speak with someone from the agency.

Are all Visiting Nurse Associations (VNAs) part of the same organization?

No. Although many VNAs offer similar services, each agency is unique. Each is a separate entity with its own menu of services, staff, and board of directors, and each provides services within its own specific service area.

Will my insurance pay for home health care services?

Medicare, Medicaid, and the majority of private health insurance policies cover most VNA and Hospice services when ordered by a physician. Long-term care insurance and US Department of Veterans Affairs insurance also cover many home care services. In addition, there are a variety of public programs that can help with the costs of home care. We would be pleased to contact your insurance plan to inquire about your coverage for our services.

Can I receive home health care or home personal care if my insurance doesn’t cover the services and/or I am experiencing a financial hardship?

Services that are not covered by an outside resource can be paid for by the patient or family. To assure that no one is denied care because of inability to pay, South Shore Hospital Home Care charges on a sliding scale for VNA and Hospice services not covered by insurance. Our private duty home care program may also be brought in to supplement or extend care that is covered by health insurance. Our Home and Health Resources Program offers a variety of economical service packages tailored to your specific needs. Your financial information will always be kept in strict confidence.

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How does a patient begin receiving services?

To receive VNA services that are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or most private insurances, you must be referred by a physician. You may also be referred to us by other sources – such as a hospital, nursing home, or even your family or friends – but, in these cases, a physician must order a plan of care for you before we can begin providing services. Your insurance coverage or payment source must also be verified.

How long will I receive home health care?

Every case is different, because every patient is unique. We will work with you, your doctor, and insurance provider to develop a plan of care that best meets your needs. We will also develop specific goals and schedule visits accordingly. The duration of home care will depend upon your goals and your progress in meeting them, which will be reviewed during each visit. When your goals are met, your physician will be notified, and you will be discharged.

What happens during the first home visit?

During your first visit, your condition and needs will be assessed by a specially trained nurse, rehabilitation therapist, and/or specialty clinician, who will then develop your care plan. Each plan of care is unique to the patient. Your care plan could include a variety of services. Your plan may include skilled nursing and/or rehabilitation services. It might involve disease, pain, and/or medication or IV management.

How long do most home care visits last?

The length of home care visits varies. Each home visit lasts as long as it takes to provide the needed care. This could take anywhere from about a half hour to two hours or sometimes even longer.

What happens with my care between visits?

Telemonitoring is an exciting new technology that allows us to keep track of your health status even when a nurse or clinician isn’t present in your home. We are able to check your vital signs every day via a system that automatically sends the information directly to our clinicians for review through a secure web server via your home phone line. If deemed necessary, we can respond immediately – thereby avoiding any potentially serious medical problems or complications. We also provide education and training to help you and your family manage your health between our visits.

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How does hospice nursing care differ from traditional skilled nursing care?

Hospice nurses focus their attention on making the end of life as comfortable as possible for patients with terminal illnesses (and their families), while the traditional home care nurse focuses on bringing about an improvement in a patient’s condition. The primary goal of a hospice nurse is to provide a calm, supportive, safe environment for each patient in the comfort of his or her home.

How can I contact my nurse or clinician?

A care manager is available 24-hours a day to answer questions, address concerns, and help connect you with your nurse or therapist. If your situation is urgent and requires immediate medical attention, you may be directed to go to the emergency room.

What if I need help at night or on weekends?

We are here whenever you need us. Our services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Can I receive assistance with personal care, meal preparation, and/or light housekeeping?

There are many instances where our patients have difficulty managing their activities of daily living and do not have a family member or friend available to help out on a round-the-clock basis. That’s when Home and Health Resources can help. We are able to provide personal care and homemaking assistance to patients on a private pay basis. Assistance is available 24 hours per day on a short- or long-term basis.

What are my rights as a patient?

We respect the privacy and confidentiality of every patient. You will receive a comprehensive list of patient rights to review upon admission for services. You are entitled to exercise these rights at all times, and your family or designee may exercise them for you if you are unable to make decisions about your own care, treatment, or services.

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