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Little physician oversight on home care planning

For individuals who require in-home care, depending on a strong system of physician oversight may not be the best way to ensure a positive outcome. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, many physicians who are tasked with reviewing home health care plans only spend around one minute reviewing those plans before signing off on them. This research underscores the importance of Georgia families engaging in strong care planning to ensure that loved ones are properly taken care of if and when the time comes. 

For people on Medicare who need skilled home health services, a plan of care must be certified by a physician in order for Medicare coverage to apply. The care plan is created by home health agencies and presented to the physician for review. However, of 1,000 physicians asked, 47 percent said that they spent less than a minute reviewing the form, and another 21 percent spent more than two minutes on the review. 

Part of the problem could be the form used to communicate the care plan. Many who work with the forms claim that they are ill-suited to communicate useful information about a care plan. Among doctors who sign off on the plans, more than 78 percent never or rarely reached out to the home health care providers with questions or concerns. 

Home health care and Medicare coverage are just a small part of the larger care planning issue. For Georgia families who are searching for the best possible care for their loved ones, beginning the planning process as early as possible is important. Working with a skilled elder care attorney can help families navigate this and many other related issues. 

Source: homehealthcarenews.com, "Johns Hopkins: Most Doctors Spend One Minute Reviewing Home Health Plans", Amy Baxter, April 3, 2018

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At Hodges Law Firm, we handle a wide range of legal issues for clients throughout the Atlanta area, including elder law, estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning and protection, asset protection, litigation, and business law and services. We are knowledgeable in the law and understand the real life implications of legal actions.