Keeping Home in Home Health Care

This week, I placed a call to the corporate nursing agency, which is the new nursing agency that has taken over our local nursing agency that provided the nurses for Caroline’s care. I found out through the grapevine that a new rule was put into place that states nurses will not be allowed to transport clients as they have done in the past. I was shocked to hear about this rule. We have always relied on the nurses to move Caroline around. So I questioned the rule. Someone referred me to the cooperate office in New Jersey. The first flag that went up: Why do I need to contact “corporate” to answer this question?

I followed through and after three calls back and forth I finally got through to corporate. I talked to someone in their legal department to ask why the nurses were no longer able to transport clients. After about 60 minutes of this conversation… I still didn t know why.

Let me fill you in.

First off, all the nurses were in service and told that they would no longer be able to transport clients. This was news to me because I feel that if a NEW rule was going to be made that will affect the clients then just maybe it should have been brought up to the client first… and maybe even give us a time to adjust to the new rule.

Secondly, if a new rule was going to be made, I would think that just maybe the nurses would be told a little more formally rather than just another item on a list that is being offered at an in-service that was held on their time and without pay. Something just doesn’t seem professional about how this all transpired.
I then asked the person from legal for clarification on this and she explained that my daughter uses Medicaid as a secondary medical insurance and most of the funds used for nursing come directly from Medicaid which is a federal program for children with disabilities. She said the Federal Government has rules. These rules state that the nurse must provide care to the client and be at the client’s side for the entire shift. She offered a scenario where the nurse is transporting Caroline by van and Caroline goes into respiratory distress and the nurse had to pull over to treat her and then couldn’t resuscitate her and she died corporate would be liable. I said I understand this situation very well.

Then I asked, so what if the nurse had to use the restroom, and she left Caroline’s side for five minutes, and Caroline went into respiratory distress and by the time she got to her she wasn’t able to resuscitate her and she died, would corporate make a rule that the nurses weren’t allowed to use the bathroom while they were working? She didn’t like this response and told me so and informed me that this was a completely different situation.

I, for one, fail to see the difference.

I then took over the conversation and told her that I feel that since the, “take over,” I feel that we are trying to institutionalize the HOME health care system by imposing rules and regulations that fit an institution and not a HOME. I also mentioned that I will be looking for a smaller nursing agency that remembers their roots by keeping the HOME in home health care.

I also reported that my Medicaid also felt the need to solicit information from my employer as to the hours I work in a typical day and even how far I travel to and from work to help them decide on the number of hours of nursing I will need when I asked for additional hours. It really sounds like Medicaid is interested in me continuing working and not taking off every time Caroline needs to see a dentist or get weighed at a physical appointment at the doctor’s office.

To be fair, as our conversation ended, corporate did say they would contact the Harrisburg office to work out a solution to the transportation issue. I called the Harrisburg office a week later and they haven t heard from corporate yet.

Or maybe we are just waiting for the next in-service?

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