Friday, 6 March 2015

Double Billing

I've just finished my Range of Motion exercises. These are the exercises performed on me three times a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - by the Home Care Aides who wander in and out of my life. some just for one visit, some for many. In addition, these kind professionals help me with my shower, ensuring I can get clean and be safe at the same time.

My current HCA is a woman from Nigeria who has lived in Canada for about 5 years. Today is her second visit; she won't see me again until I come back from the road trip, at which point there may be another, new HCA in the mix. It happens a lot, that one person cannot provide consistent service, so there are usually at least two different care givers working with me at any given point in time. Right now, both of them happen to be women.

The woman here today is also doing my home making, the cleaning that is provided once every second Friday, in addition to my personal care and exercises. It's a bit of a push for a newcomer, particularly since the agency has it booked as a "combo visit" where the HCA is supposed to gain efficiencies in tasks to allow for a shorter booking for all tasks. In my case that doesn't work too well as the ROM exercises take the full allotted hour in order to complete them.

There are six separate stretches, each of which is repeated five times and held for 30 seconds.; Single Knee Bend, Leg Lift, or ballet dancer as I call it, Double Knee Bend, Calf Stretch, Trunk Rotation, and Thigh Spread, or butterfly as I have dubbed it. No matter how you do them, it takes about 45 minutes to complete them all properly.

With the combo visit, the HCA arrives at 12:30 to help me with my shower. By the time I am clean and dressed, it is 1:00 PM. Exercises take from 1:00 PM to just about 2:00 PM. Home making is supposed to take 2 hours, however it is booked under a combo visit to take place from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Basically the two hours allotted for home making overlaps my ROM exercises by an hour. This is the time the HCA is supposed to make up through efficiencies which simply don't exist.

What all of this means is that my home making is rushed, and usually incomplete. Some stuff just doesn't get done. It also means the HCA works extra and is inevitably late for her next appointment. The final kicker in this house of cards is that the agency bills the government for two separate engagements, one for 1.5 hours and another for 2 hours while only providing 2.5 hours of service. Now I know where they make their profit. Oh, and I also get billed a supplement of $5.00 per hour for the home making; that's a bill I am slow to pay.

I am not complaining about my home care; it is, in general, excellent. I am not complaining about the HCA's; they are, in general, excellent, caring people. What I am complaining about is the double booking of time and the inherent lie within it. That just seems wrong to me.

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