When seeking services from a home health care company, one must ask the question, “Are all home care organizations alike?" The answer is "no". The quality of home care can differ significantly from one organization to another. There are several thousand public and private organizations nationwide, with new ones opening up every day. As a protection to the consumer many states have established licensure laws governing these types of companies. Licensure rules will typically establish the minimum requirements for doing business. Not all states have licensure requirements for home care companies. It is suggested that consumers check with their state government to determine if there is a licensure law and if the organization contacted is in compliance with those requirements. For individuals eligible for Medicare coverage, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has established provider requirements for Home Health agencies, Hospices, and Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers (DMEPOS) to participate in the program. Another form of consumer protection is that of voluntary accreditation. Standards of care are based upon the consensus of professionals of those elements that should exist in home care organizations that have "gone the extra mile" to assure quality. Accreditation is a means of measuring the organizational management, internal processes, patient safety practices, and service outcomes. Most home care companies are good and deserve your trust. However, organizations that have earned accreditation usually are most serious about maintaining the quality of services and products they provide. Accreditation is professional peer review administered by a private nonprofit organization, which is structured to establish higher standards than state or federal requirements. Accreditation is the most commonly accepted means of assuring quality care and products.
An assistive technology professional is a service provider who analyzes the needs of individuals with disabilities, assists in the selection of the appropriate equipment, and trains the consumer on how to properly use the specific equipment. This equipment may include manual and power wheelchairs, alternate computer access, augmentative and alternative communication devices, and other technology to improve the function and quality of life for an individual with a disability.