Imagine you’re in the hospital for five days. You receive medications, diagnostic tests, and other hospital services, and you have Medicare.
Then, when your doctor wants to send you to a skilled nursing facility like NHC, you find out you’re classified as “outpatient observation.” Medicare will not cover your stay at such a facility unless you’ve been in the hospital for three nights as an inpatient.
After you’ve been discharged from the hospital and taken home, your son decides to hire a private caregiver for you. The caregiver does not work for a licensed home-assistance agency.
The caregiver, who is not bonded and has not had a background check, steals your expensive jewelry, camera, and some cash, but you can’t prove it. Your son fires the caregiver and hires a contract worker with a licensed agency.
The new caregiver hurts her back lifting you. Could you be sued? How can you avoid getting in such bad situations?
“When you are discharged from the hospital, you face many choices when your stress levels are high and time is limited,” said Meg Tonne, parish nurse at the church who coordinates the luncheons. “You may not understand what the options are for different levels of care and whether you qualify for the level you think you need.”
In conjunction with ElderWatch of East Tennessee, First Presbyterian Church at Oak Ridge Turnpike at Lafayette Drive will host a panel discussion on “Discharge Options: Take Charge of Your Health,” as part of its series of monthly Health Luncheons. Tonne will be the moderator.
Panel experts will discuss the criteria for skilled care facilities such as NHC, personal home assistance, home care of different skill levels, and other options. Information on licensed and bonded caregiving agencies will be available.
The panelists are: Jeff Tambornini, administrator of NHC Oak Ridge; Janice Brock, R.N., case manager for the emergency department and critical care patients, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge; Beth Piller, social worker and discharge coordinator, MMCOR; Gina Hollenbeck, director of home health and hospice, Covenant HomeCare; and Lynne Burchell, R.N., director of nursing, Home Helpers of East Tennessee.
The Health Luncheon starts at noon on Thursday, Sept. 18, in Room 102, Activities Building. The program is free and open to the community. Lunch costs $5. Seating may be limited. Please call (865) 483-1318 to make reservations.