Non-profit creates fee-based post-operative care for all
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
A local not-for-profit home and health care organization is expanding with a new private, out-of-pocket program that officials hope over time can help fill the widening funding gap created by government funding cuts.
Doral-based United HomeCare Services, a long-standing agency geared toward low-income residents in need of in-home services, is now offering customized post-surgery recovery care to individuals across the full economic spectrum.
The organization has developed three packages for post-op home care services that is launching this month, offering a full scale of services ranging from nursing care to medication pickup at the pharmacy and grocery shopping.
Jose Fox, United HomeCare president and chief executive officer, said with the program the organization can expand its home care to the local population.
"People who can pay for the services and don't know where to go should have a resource," he said. "We can assume that role… They can rely on us to give them solutions to their challenges."
With revenues from future paying clients in the Platinum Care program, Mr. Fox says the organization plans to supplement funding of home and health care services for low-income patients in need.
"We think this will be a new avenue for us to raise funds and substitute the shortage we are having now and will have in the future," he said. "This is a source of revenue to reinvest in helping the people who cannot afford those services."
United HomeCare's waiting list has more than 700 names and the main requirement to qualify for services is to receive Medicare or Medicaid.
As the waiting list grew and more people were willing to pay for the services out-of-pocket, the home care organization realized there was a need to expand its services, said Bobbie D'Angola, United HomeCare vice president and Platinum Care director.
The Platinum Care program offers three packages. The first provides a home care aide to care for the patient, prepare light meals and help patient follow physician instructions at price of $145 per eight hours of service.
Another package offers additional services such as transportation to the home from the outpatient facility or hospital following the surgery for $210 per 12 hours of care.
A third package includes those services plus housekeeping and running errands at a cost of $340 per 20 hours of service.
United HomeCare currently has about 600 certified home care aides delivering in-home care services.
To market the new program, Ms. D'Angola says the organization is reaching out to physicians, plastic surgeons and hospitals to inform their patients of the plan.
"They [patients] plan their own care. They can arrange for the services they need, generally more supportive and clinical care," she said.
The post-surgery home care option is already gaining interest from patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.
Some are locals who require assistance while they recover at home and others are from Latin American countries and require post-op nursing and companionship while they recover at a hotel, said Mercy Masvidal, United HomeCare's community liaison for the program.
Ms. D'Angola said out-of-towners who have elderly family members recovering from surgery at a local hospital or outpatient center can also benefit from the customized care.
If the program succeeds, Mr. Fox says plans are to expand the services to Broward County and, in the long-term, form a network with other agencies around the state to provide similar services.
Details: (305) 716-0710.