Not all VNAs are alike so know your VNA
We’ve all had or have an older relative who either boasts about “my VNA girl” or who shoos off our concerns with “oh my nurse comes by every week.” Visiting Nurse Associations, known as VNAs, have evolved considerably since their early days as town-based organizations. Today, VNAs are seeing the sickest of the sick in their homes; offering medical support and services to people who years ago would have still been in the hospital. Largely reimbursed by Medicare, VNAs are mostly now regional in scope providing a host of home care services while several also offer hospice care.
But when Grandma or Dad says, “yes I have my VNA nurse,” be sure to ask which VNA. Not all VNAs are alike and they are not all part of one organization. While most share a common mission, VNAs are separately owned and operate within their own framework. This may include being part of a hospital system or a physician practice or an independent agency not tethered or responsible to a parent company.
Why is this important? Because patients have CHOICE. And there are a lot of choices out there. Consider the person who has had the same VNA for years off and on. They end up in the ER and are told they have to have home care. No worries, you think, they’ll call the VNA. But what if that particular hospital has their own VNA or has a preference for another VNA? Perhaps already weary and vulnerable, the patient may say okay to whatever VNA is mentioned not realizing it’s not the same VNA he/she knows. That relationship with a trusted caregiver may now be severed.
Why does that matter? Because compliance with medical regimens and consistency of care go hand in hand towards the healing process. Some VNAs are known for their specialty clinicians and expertise in dementia, heart and respiratory issues, and wound care and many patients count on those benefits from their VNA.
Norwell VNA (NVNA) and Hospice has developed cards for our patients that identify them as having our agency for home care services. We suggest they keep them with their medical insurance card in the event they are somewhere (ER, doctor’s office, etc) being referred to home care services or any number of our full continuum of care services, including our private home care (companion, transportation, personal care), hospice services, or our non-profit hospice residence.
If interested in receiving a Norwell VNA (NVNA) and Hospice card, or learning more about our services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 781.659.2342.