Tag Archives: Resources

The Value of a Health Navigator

Some time ago, we wrote a post about the value of having a nurse navigator when trying to decide about in home care here: (The Value of a Healthcare Navigator), and now we are revisiting this issue with a contribution from our friends at RegisteredNursing.org.

Most people’s first thoughts of a new year center around new beginnings and possible resolutions to be made. While these are important considerations to start the year out right, the most important consideration for a new year can revolve around your health and healthcare coverage. If you are like most people, you were barraged with notices about getting health care coverage. Navigating the landscape of “Part This” and “Part That” is confusing and, when added to potential health issues or surgeries, is down-right overwhelming. Enter the Health Navigator (queue the harps and harmonic singing).

The role of the health navigator has progressively expanded over the past decade as programs such as Medicare have become extremely complicated. More than just a person to help assist you with which options to choose for medical coverage, a qualified and skilled health navigator will also assist people with local resources they might qualify for, such as county or state programs. For example, low-income families in Idaho may qualify for additional support and assistance for medical issues through a medically indigent program; a savvy health navigator will know which services are available in certain areas and how to access them for the patient or family.

Health navigators play a different role than the nurse navigators you may have experienced in various healthcare settings. Nurse navigators assist patients or populations through either a healthcare system or a specialized department. One example of this role is when a patient is scheduled for surgery or perhaps is diagnosed with cancer, a nurse navigator is assigned to provide advice and guidance to patients through each step of the journey for these devastating experiences.

Some community health systems, such as Terry Reilly, employ health navigators to reach out to patients in their service area to offer support in enrolling patients and families into the myriad of choices for healthcare. As many programs are time-bound and have enrollment windows, having a process to proactively reach out to help people navigate the programs is very strategic. By offering services directly, not only are patients more likely to choose the health system that assisted them, the organization is more likely to receive better payment rates if patients are correctly enrolled. Either way, offering help to patients and families to traverse the timelines, coverage options, and associated costs with each plan is a valuable service to offer.

Healthcare and medical coverage can be confusing, especially if there are already numerous healthcare members coming into a home to provide services. However, if you find yourself needing additional resources or information related to healthcare coverage choices, ask your doctor to recommend a reliable health navigator for clarification and assistance. You don’t have to face these choices alone.

About the Author
Catherine Burger, BSN, MSOL, RN is a board-certified nurse executive and contributing writer for www.registerednursing.org.

About Well Beyond Care
Well Beyond Care is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover through the web application, WellBeyondCare.com. The Company’s platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. Their solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs.

Tips for Finding Care for Elderly Individuals

As we grow older, we go through many changes both physically and mentally. Some elderly individuals will have trouble performing every day tasks, like preparing their own meals or dressing themselves, while others will retain more independence. There are cases where aging loved ones who are still mobile and alert may need occasional assistance and care. The type of care that an individual receives will depend on their specific care needs and their family’s budget.

The cost of healthcare in the US, and more specifically in Texas, California, and Florida has been steadily increasing over the years. More and more families are struggling to afford nursing home care or assisted living facility care for their aging relatives.

According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of private nursing home care in the US is now $92,345 per year (or $235 per day). Just eight years ago that average was $67,527 per year. Though some geriatric patients may prefer the live-in nursing home option, the prohibitively high cost makes it impossible for many families to afford this option. Hence, many families are now opting to hire a private, qualified in-home caregiver or nurse to take care of their parents or loved ones in the comfort of their own home.

Some individuals worry that the lower price of an in-home caregiver means inferior quality care, but this is not necessarily the case. Many caregivers and nurses choose to work independently in order to maximize their income and to be able to control their schedule. While many caregivers are very capable and trustworthy, to be sure you are hiring a quality caregiver any person looking for in home care should follow these steps:

  • Use a trusted resource to find your caregiver or nurse. If you are hiring a caregiver for a parent or friend there are many online resources available that make this process easier than what was capable in the past.
  • Look for caregivers with recommendations or reviews from other patients. This will give you an idea of how well they got on with other geriatric individuals.
  • Only interview caregivers whose qualifications meet your or your parents’ needs. If your parent suffers from respiratory problems, look for a caregiver who is also a respiratory therapist.
  • Be thorough in your interview. This caregiver is someone you want to build a meaningful and positive relationship with, so make sure you get to know them and feel comfortable with them.
  • Get a certified background check and verify their references. This is an essential step in ensuring your parents’ safety and reducing your own stress.

There are a number of caregivers and skilled nurses available to provide in-home elderly care for you or your loved ones. If you are looking for a trusted resource to help you find professional caregivers and nurses, check out websites such as WellBeyondCare.com to find elderly care professionals in your area.

Well Beyond Care provides the tools that help you plan care and allow your loved ones to safely age in place. It is the only company that teaches families and individuals how to find and manage affordable non-medical in-home care, while solving the chronic problems of caregiver truancy and turnover. Our platform combines the power of the internet with the personal touch of nurses to offer families a pathway to transitional care, allowing our elderly parents to safely age-in-place. This solution lowers stress in hiring a caregiver and saves families tens of thousands of dollars per year in care costs. Its online system combines the best in Caregiver matching (searching, screening, ratings & hiring) with all the back-office functions (time worked, payroll, scheduling, and notifications) to ensure safe, reliable, dependable, affordable care is obtained. It is the only company that gives each Careseeker access to their own local, personal nurse to help guide them through the hiring process. The Careseeker’s nurse provides advice on healthcare options and aids with transitional care.