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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hospital Discharge Planners Discussed at Consumer Information

The AAHSA, American Association of Homes and Services for Aging, at, offers Consumer Information that explains that hospital discharge planners operate under "tight restrictions...arrange discharges at a rapid pace...and how Medicare reimbursements stop when a doctor clears someone to leave" so the hospital is motivated to fill the bed with a paying patient.

The AAHSA provides consumer information under "How to Choose" on the page titled "Crises Planning, When You Need Aging Services Now" and says "you may want to seek advice from someone other than the hurried discharge planner" and discusses the option of also using a private care coordinator.

The AAHSA says that for a fee you can hire a private care coordinator who can provide you with additional assistance. Contacting friends, relatives, pastors, the local ombudsman and the local Area Agency on Aging are also recommended.

The AAHSA recommends making short term plans if you are not satisfied with the options from the hospital discharge planner.

The website has information also on planning ahead, paying for services, choosing, and family caregiving. If you are not in a crisis they offer a list of ideas to consider for planning to be prepared.

The website recommends that you may want to check with the local ombudsman for help, as mentioned in a previous post. Visiting facilites that offer nursing services, physical therapy or assisted care, or talking to home care agencies, and sorting out the choices, can be daunting.

You may have the option of deciding between nursing facilities and home care. You can get detailed information by checking with home health agencies who send licensed nurses and other professionals to the home.

The types of care and providers after discharge can be researched. Facilities can be visited and interviews with home health agencies and caregiver agencies may be helpful.

The website at also provides lists and descriptions of the many types of care available. Understanding the consumer information at the site can help people to make decisions during a crisis or for long term planning.

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