Are you prepared for what’s next after a hospital stay?

A visit to your parents’ house one day turns into an unexpected visit to the hospital. You walk in to find dad laying at the bottom of the stairs near the kitchen. He had fallen and had broken his hip. Off to the hospital and into surgery he goes. Unexpected, things happen all the time and you want to be prepared. Having some information and steps that could occur during any stay could help relieve some stress on you and your loved ones.
Dad comes out of surgery fine. Now comes the part some may or may not be familiar with, along with many questions. Dad will see many people commonly known as an interdisciplinary team or case management team during his stay which may include a mix of doctors, nurses, case managers, physical therapists, social workers, and discharge planners. Everyone has one goal and that is to get him back to his previous level of care. It may or may not be home with home health care services, skilled nursing facility, or acute rehab. But whichever it is they all want to see him get to that the next level of care safely. In order to determine where he will go or who will provide therapy, his doctor will order physical and or occupational therapies. The therapy department will send a therapist is to come to meet and access the needs by doing an assessment on the patient, this may also include a home assessment. 
It is not as easy as one thinks. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a set of guidelines that everyone must follow. There also must be a need for medical necessity. The interdisciplinary team will work with the patient to determine if he can go home with outpatient therapy. If so, they will arrange therapy through a home health care agency and his insurance will be notified. If he needs to go to a skilled facility his information will be sent to a couple of facilities for acceptance and also to his insurance company for review and approval. If it was determined that he will need acute rehab, a facility would be contacted, and his insurance company would be notified for review and approval. 
Being prepared is not as easy as it sounds. If we all knew what was going to happen from day to day most would avoid it from happening if we could. Knowing some of the basics can go a long way. The key here is to know there is not one person making decisions, but a team of people all working together to obtain one goal. Also, keep in mind things can change minute by minute or day today, so don’t be alarmed if or when things change. Finally, make sure someone within the team will contact his insurance company timely, so discharge is not held up.
Preparing yourself will put your mind at ease. In addition, your family won’t be given this burden during an already stressful time. The next time you visit the parents, why not ask if a concierge service may be able to help ease the stress. We like to call this “Educated Choice = Peace of Mind”.
For more information, contact Living By Your Design, Inc., focusing on the issues of Older Americans:  legal, financial, free guidance for residential placement, and healthcare issues.  Call:  309-285-8088.  Website:  Location:  809 W. Detweiller Dr., Peoria, IL 61615. 

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