Dr. David B. Samadi, a regular contributor on medical issues on The Fox News Channel, recently appeared on the subject of overseeing the care of your relatives and why it needs to be current.
His report included the need to have the nursing facility oversee nutrition, safety and fall precautions and abuse and neglect prevention. For this oversight to be truly effective one needs to employ a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM), a fairly new position.
The GCM should be a Registered Nurse (RN) who is contracted by the family, attorney or Power of Attorney to evaluate and assess care, communicate with MDs, reconcile medications and treatments, and follow the client on a routine basis and report back to the families. The GCM should accompany the client to MD appointments and serve as a spokesperson for the family, communicate health issues and serve as an advocate on behalf of the client for appropriate and effective care.
Often the client has memory issues or is simply unable to understand the medical terminology or ask the right questions, often during an NP or MD visit that lasts less than ten minutes. The GCM can get prescriptions filled and can set up a medication reminder box at home or in the facility where the client is staying.
The GCM sends an assessment that includes problems the patient is experiencing, how the patient voices their problems, the RN assessment, and the recommended plan to improve the client’s care and to problem solve
The family can respond to the need for further services, a will, advanced directives, estate attorney referrals, follow up appointments, special procedures, a referral to A Skilled Nursing Service and Private HHA for Activities for Daily Living (ADL) assistants. ADLs include incontinence care, feeding, dressing, ambulation, transferring and restroom use. They also include shopping for clothing, shoes and podiatry appointments (a podiatrist or pedicurist must have a license to trim toe nails or finger nails).
For special procedures it is critical to hire and involve a GCM for any age group. The GCM can schedule the procedure, receive the MDs preparation orders for the patient, transport the patient to the hospital or outpatient center and stay with the client during the procedure and recovery. The GCM receives the MDs follow up orders for post procedural care, transport the patient back to their home or facility, obtain lab results and those of the procedure, assess the patient and assist in hiring one-on-one care for the client.
As the healthcare system becomes more and more complicated, the GCM is increasingly becoming a critically important member of the healthcare team, An advocate such as a GCM is hired to navigate the system, including provisions of private insurance policies, Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental insurance coverage and long term care policies.
Payment for a GCM is not reimbursed by insurance companies and is a private pay arrangement between the parties of the patient and GCM or legitimate GCM Company. The GCM company should have a corporate or LLC status, be bonded, insured, offer workman’s compensation insurance to its employees and to have sufficient additional liability insurance for the safe transportation of clients. The NAPGCM certification gives a seal of approval that the GCM company meets the standards of NAPGCM.