When selecting an In-Home or ( or In-Facility) Care Provider for a loved one, there are many very important questions that should be asked to assure that the proper provider is selected to meet the patient’s care needs. Based on Always-Care’s experience SINCE 1974, we offer the following questions to assist you, because for most persons thrust into a finding care situation, this is a totally new experience, responsibility, and challenge for them. Thus we hope that you may find the information as follows helpful to assist you in your decision:

 

Key:

Questions are in RED

Answers to Question are – Blue [YES] or [No]

Additional Information or Comments are in Black.

 

What is a Home Care Provider?

  1. Provider Licensed BY The State of Georgia[Yes] Always Care Nursing   Service, is a “Private Home Care Provider” (PHCP) licensed by the State of GA.
  2. Business properly licensed as such.   [Yes] By the City of Atlanta GA.
  3. Private Individual  [No] Always Care is GA Corporation.
  4. Home Health Agency (HHA) Medicare Agency, or a Hospice Agency; [No]

Note: In Georgia, if the patient is eligible for Medicare Services which are Intermittent Medicare Services {not continuing care services} they will be provided by a Home Health Agency (HHA), or Hospice Agency. Always Care will tailor its services so as to not overlap other services if possible to save the client’s resources as much as possible.

 

Does the agency accept responsibility for screening, training, insuring and supervising their Care Giver staff?

[Yes] – All Always Care Nursing Service Non-Licensed Caregivers are (W2 Taxes Withheld) Employees. Nurses are required to complete In-service Training by their GA Boards of Nursing (RN or LPN).

 

Does the Provider, have literature which describes its services/care which it will send to a client without obligation, and a web site with additional information?

[Yes]And if based on a telephone consultation, Always Care believes that the Client is appropriate for our services, a Nurse will make a No Charge-No Obligation visit to the Patient’s home for pre-service assessment.

 

How long has the agency been providing In-Home care services in Georgia?

[SINCE 1974] Always Care Nursing Service has served Thousands of Georgia Clients, In-Home and In-Facilities. Taking Care Of Yours…As If They Were Ours” ®  

 

Does the provider screen and carefully select it’s Care Givers?

[Yes] At Always Care – Only after an “In-Person” Personal Interview/Orientation. We  do Skills Checks, Reference Checks, a Criminal Record Check, plus even though not required by state rules, we do a Drug Screen, {We are a State of Georgia Certified Drug Free Workplace} We also E-VERITY.

 

Does the provider use non-Licensed “Independent Contractors” to provide care?

[No] Always Care Nursing Service Personal Care Aides and Companion Sitter (Care Givers) are W-2 Employees.

 

Is there Licensed NURSE Supervision?

[Yes] There are Registered Nurses (R.N.’s) on Staff, who make supervisory visits to the client to assure that care is proper and safe. While this is not required in all cases under GA Licensing Rules, it is Always Care Nursing Service policy that all in-home nursing and personal care is Nurse Supervised. Plus we have a Licensed Nurse in the AC office.

 

Are all client concerns handled promptly?

[Yes] According to the Patient’s Bill of Rights which is furnished in writing to all clients, and by phone and/or visit with the Client/Patient and the Always Care Nurse Supervisor.

 

Are all our care givers covered with insurance?

[Yes] Always Care Nursing Service care givers are covered with Malpractice/Liability insurance, Workers Compensation insurance, and are Bonded.

 

Are procedures, in place for Client/Caregiver for non-office hours Emergencies?

[Yes] The Always Care Phones (404)-266-8773 and (800) 989-7828 is answered 24/7 when office is not open. Staff is available for Client Care issues.

 

Is the Client (Patient) care determined on an individual basis?

[Yes] The Always Care Nursing Service  RN along with the Client/Patient and/or the Client’s responsible party and the Client’s Physician as appropriate will develop a written Service Plan and/or Plan of Treatment to be followed by the Always Care Nursing Service, Assigned Care Givers.  This can be via phone, and/or personal in-home visits as time permits. Also routine, and special in-home RN visits are made and care/service may be changed as necessary when the client’s condition changes and/or when the Nurse Supervisor makes’ routine visits to the client as per state regulations.

 

Are Clients informed of what the Fees for Services are?

[Yes] All Fees and billing procedures are disclosed in the Always Care written Service Agreement for care, which must be signed by the Client/Client’s Responsible Party. Fees are by the Hour based on the level of care and other factors. See Always Care FEES For Services – What Is Included in Them?

 

Is the Client’s Care kept confidential?

[Yes] Always Care is HIPAA {Federal Privacy Regulations} Compliant. See Always Care Notice of Privacy Practices.

 

Is the Care/Services provided documented and furnished to the client?

[Yes] Always Care Nursing Service care givers record services and/or care provided along with all time worked, on Always Care forms, which are signed by the Client/Client’s, Responsible Party,  a copy of which is left in the home, or provided by other means. They are turned in weekly to Always Care for Billing and Payroll purposes.

 

Are the providers Billing & Payroll Policies & Procedures detailed?

[Yes] Always Care bills and Pays Weekly. Services provided are detailed on each invoice, and also showing the name(s) & skill levels of all care givers, the dates & hours worked, the billed rates, and payment terms. Billing and Paying of Care Givers are based on the Time Slip signed by the client for the care giver, a copy of which is left in the home (or sent via other means) so the client, can compare it to the invoice received.

If Always Care accepts an assignment of insurance policy benefits, Always Care will bill Client’s insurance or other Payor such as in the case of Workers Compensation Insurance.

 

Does the Provider accept Medicare/Medicaid?

[No], However, if the Client is covered under these Federal/ State Programs. {Note: In Georgia, Medicare-covered Services are provided by Home Health Agencies (HHA)’s}.  Always Care has a State License which is called a “Private Home Care Provider” (PHCP).  If the client/patient is Medicare Eligible the services as provided by HHA’s they are limited and are intermittent VISITS under these programs, vs. continual care which Always Care can provide up to 24/7. In such a situation,  Always Care will work with the Client to coordinate its continuing care services, ( • Part Time or • Full Time ) to be provided around – and in coordination with other care so that there is “no duplication of services” and unnecessary expense to the client.

 

Can the provider give you the names of other clients that it has served?

[No] Under HIPAA, {Federal Privacy Regulations} this is not allowed unless the provider obtains “specific written permission” from the Client/Patient to do so, but most clients wish to maintain their privacy. Therefore if anyone does this they MAY NOT HIPAA Compliant, and are Breaking the Law, unless they have the client’s permission. However we can tell you about the type of clients we have serviced, but since we have been doing this since 1974, we have serviced almost all types of clients/patients. See Client Testimonials.

 

Does the Provider have funding sources available to the client for care?

[No] – Always Care does not, as we do not receive any Federal or State funs. However, any client insurance will be evaluated and considered on an individual policy basis.

 

Is the provider privately owned?

[Yes] Always Care of Georgia Inc, d/b/a Always Care Nursing Service is a Georgia Corporation, which is owned and operated by members of the same local “Gruensfelder” family, SINCE 1974.  Our corporate philosophy is stated as; Taking Care of Yours  . . .  As If They Were Ours ®

 

Does the provider have a Quality Assurance Plan?

[Yes] – Always Care provides for written comments from Clients, phone calls, and by Routine Nurse Supervisor or Special Visits to the patient.

 

Is the Provider Licensed by the State of Georgia, for the county in which the services are provided?

[Yes] Always Care is licensed for all counties in Georgia.

 

Does the provider select a care giver for the client according to the client’s needs and situation?

[Yes] Because all Always Care,  care givers have gone through a personal interview and screening process Always Care is able to match as closely as possible the skills and qualification of the care giver to the needs of the patient. If for some reason the personality does not mesh with that of the client, (we can’t test for that) Always Care will gladly assign a different care giver.

 

Does the provider require ongoing training of its Care Givers?

[Yes] all Always Care, care givers must complete annual in-service

 

Is there more risk using Always Care than a chain/franchise provider of service?

[NO] Always Care has provided services since 1974. If the provider is new to the area and is other than a GA Licensed agency, such as Always Care, there are numerous risks which should be considered and evaluated by your own financial/tax, insurance, and legal advisors. “Cheep” in Healthcare is not always the Best Medicine.

 

Can I change the “amount of service” needed at any time with the provider?

[Yes] Always Care requires only that you contact us, and if you agree that the services can be changed verbally. Then you may do so via phone. Our minimum service requirements will be explained to you in our written service agreement. If you no longer wish service, you must contact us at least two (2) hours or earlier before the care giver is scheduled to arrive. Call our office at 404 266 8773 (404 26 NURSE) 1-800-989-8098. If the care giver can be stopped from reporting, you are not billed for the minimum service fee. Always Care wants you to be satisfied.

 

What if I still need more information. Can I call or visit the providers office?

[YES] We know this is a lot of information, but we hope you found at least some of it helpful. We encourage you to ask about anything else that you wish to know about Always Care Nursing Service and our Care Services. Call (404) 266 8773 (404 26 NURSE), or (800) 989-7828. Ready to find out more?  

 

In-Office/In-Person Meeting. If you wish to set up an In-Person meeting with us in our office, we ask that you call us first, so that it be scheduled by appointment, at a mutual date and time so that we are not occupied with interviews, other clients, or out of the office for some reason, and that we have the appropriate staff available to meet with you to give you the personal attention that you deserve.

          

 Thank you in advance from the staff of Always-Care Nursing Service.

  We look forward to –  Taking Care Of Yours … As If They Were Ours ®  

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