18- Dec2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

Understanding Nursing Home Rehab

Most seniors and their families spend a lot of time planning how to stay out of the nursing home.  Those perceptions of nursing homes are often tainted by old stereotypes. Although Nursing Homes still provide long-term care, they also provide effective short term rehabilitation services for seniors recovering from extended illness or injury. Nursing Home rehab can actually be a short stop on the road back home after illness.

100 days of coverage? Not necessarily

Nursing Home used to be known for a slower pace of therapy, which was helpful for seniors recovering from illness.  In recent years therapy in the nursing home has become more aggressive measuring progress on a daily basis rather than the weekly measure they used before.  This change in approach has dramtically reduced the length of stay for those receiving therapy in the nursing home.

The common misunderstanding among seniors and families is that they get 100 days of Medicare coverage as long as they are receiving therapy.  While Medicare does provide for 100 days of coverage it does not mean that the patient will actually receive that amount.  The patient will only be covered as long as they are showing “progress” toward therapy goals.

Who determines progress?

Nursing Home therapists will tell you that it is Medicare that determines whether a patient is making progress. While this is true, much of how that decision is made depends on how the therapist documents therapy treatments.

Medicare determines progress through regulation and precedent with the facility they are dealing with. There is not some room where someone from Medicare waits to review daily therapy notes.  Instead a therapist estimates coverages based on how Medicare has approved billing in the past. The notes are only reviewed during random audit or if the patient appeals the coverage decision.

Directed Therapy Goals

Because the process for determining progress is highly subjective, it is vital to make sure the therapist understands your personal goals.  If the senior is returning home, the therapist should understand what abilities and skill the senior will need in order to remain safe. For example, if the senior has limited support at home they may need to be strong while standing in order to use the bathroom safely.  If responsible for preparing their own meals, they may need to work on adaptations to make that task easier.

By directing the therapist to focus on practical outcomes, rather than a focus on general goals like walking distance, a patient can help define progress as it relates their patient-centered treatment plan. This will improve your therapy outcome and get the most coverage out of your nursing home rehab stay.

05- Dec2016
Posted By: Tony Fischer

Four Reasons To Get A Senior Care Plan

A Senior Care Plan Can Provide Stability in Times of Change

Soon after the dust settled on the 2016 election season it became clear that our healthcare system is going to undergo a massive change again.  President-Elect Donald Trump and the Republican controlled congress are promising Medicare reform in attempt to control the ever-growing cost of healthcare. Any change in insurance reimbursement will likely trigger a change in how the healthcare system works for patients.

Government insurance programs aren’t the only ones that are scheduled for an overhaul.  The Veterans Aide and Attendence Benefit will likely impose the three-year look back period they have been promising.  The exact reforms are unclear but whether or not the changes are swift or incremental, it is clear the American healthcare system and the way it is funded is due for another big change.

Long-Term Care is Inevitable

Seniors today are looking for ways to get the type of health care that will allow them to stay at home and age in place. That is compelling companies to develop more innovative services to help meet the unique needs of today’s seniors.

As American’s live to be older it is an inevitability that they will use the long-term care system.  In fact one could say that long-term care will join the other two inevitabilities in life; death and taxes.

Hundreds of Senior Care Options

There are literally hundreds of senior healthcare options to choose from and no clear way to tell which one will provide good service.  Let’s take home care for example.  There are at least three types of home care. Some are reimbursed by insurance and others through private pay.  On top of that individual services may or may not be covered by insurance.

SeniorCareSherpa.com has solved that problem with our Sherpa Certified program.  Our Sherpa Certified providers have been screened and vetted so be can ensure they are free of fraud.  We also evaluate each company to determine whether it follows industry best practices. That is why we have an exclusive list of providers for each market we serve.  We don’t have every provider on our list but we do have the best.

RELATED POST: Avoid Over-paying for Long-Term Care

Senior Care Planning Is Vital

An elder-centered senior care plan is a sure way to address the inevitable cost of senior care.  It addresses each elder’s unique health care, financial and environmental needs and adjusts as conditions change. A solid senior care plan can control the cost of healthcare with a thorough understanding of the senior healthcare system.

At SeniorCareSherpa.com our Aging Transition Managers will help you develop a plan and stay with you through every step of your senior care journey.  Packages with SeniorCareSherpa.com include the intervention of a nurse who can make visits to set-up and maintain your senior care plan.  They will also do “well-checks” to make sure the senior care plan is working.  If it is not working we can help you can the plan.

Much More than Health Care

An effective senior care plan is developed in a vacuum. It must include all members of the senior’s support system to make it work.  We look at every barrier a senior has to aging in place and develop a strategy for overcoming that.  That is why we have Sherpa Certified providers who have expertise in Elder Law, Finance and benefits.  If there is a problem we have access to the person who can solve it.

A Complete Senior Care Solution

At SeniorCareSherpa.com we strive to be the complete senior care solutions for seniors and their families.  Our unique way of approaching the challenges presented by aging has helped seniors and their families all over the country.  Let us help you develop a plan that will help you age in place at home.