Supporting Patient and Family Centered Care During Difficult Transitions

When a patient is transferred from acute care to post-acute care, the patient isn’t the only one affected.

The families of patients are introduced to a new stage of care crowded with unfamiliar medical jargon, confusing medical coverage exclusions, and direct communication with care providers.

They’re handling finances, bearing the burden of decision-making responsibilities, and communicating hard news among extended family, and it can be overwhelming. While handling this transition can be a stressful undertaking for families, your post-acute care agency can leverage a patient and family-centered care approach to help them better understand the care process and step into their supportive role with ease.

Navigating Medical Insurance Coverage

For someone new to the world of post-acute care, it can be difficult to grasp medical coverage. Between limitations, such as inclusions and exclusions, navigating insurance coverage is complex. Around 56 percent of middle-income patients aged 59 or older mistakenly assume that their Medicare plan will cover Long-Term Care (LTC).

Post-acute care facilities are a vital resource to assist families in understanding medical coverage for their loved ones and what options they might have in covering the costs. For example, your agency can deliver patient and family-centered care by explaining the different options available to a 65-or-older home healthcare patient, such as billing their private insurance company for third-party insurance, Out-of-Pocket (OOP), and Medicare Advantage.


Guiding Families Through the Healthcare System

On average, only 33 percent of adults have advanced directives in place or have delegated healthcare powers of attorney. In other words, 67 percent of adults may not know where to begin the process when handed the responsibility of making care decisions.

Post-acute care facilities can provide expert assistance in understanding the decision-making processes on behalf of their loved ones. Often, the family of a patient may not know where to begin or what questions to ask regarding their supporting role.

Do they have or need a Power of Attorney (POA) to be able to authorize treatment? What is the difference between an “attorney-in-fact” and a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPAHC)? What happens when their loved one exercises their right to privacy? These are all essential questions that a supportive patient and family-centered care agency can answer.


Facilitating Communication Between Patients, Families, and Healthcare Providers

After patient intake, communication among multiple family members, the care recipient, and the medical team is easily complicated. An effective communication plan is direct, clear, and structured, so no family member is out of the loop. Empowering patients and their families to participate as partners in their care has been associated with improved adherence to treatment and greater self-management.

Best practices to ensure clear and accurate communication of information might include:

  1. Assigning a family representative to be the main point of contact to avoid any mixed messaging.
  2. Forming family councils to support one another and stay informed with care updates from the family representative.
  3. Facilitating group conversations with practitioners, post-acute care patients, and their families about treatment options to understand the preferences of all parties.

Streamlining Support to Patients and Their Families

KanTime’s technology solutions equip healthcare agencies across the post-acute care industry with the tools they need to ensure quality patient and family-centered care.

Our solutions streamline administrative and manual processes, enhancing the communication among the entire healthcare team, including the patient’s family. By leveraging accurate and timely communication of information, caretakers, administrators, and family members can focus more on what really matters: the patient’s care.

Schedule a custom demo to learn how our solution can positively impact your processes, patients, and everything in between.