HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--If choosing health care benefits is more difficult than parenting, deciding on medical treatments, buying a car or selecting home or auto insurance [Aetna's Empowered Health Index Survey], what’s ahead for older Americans (and their kids) in finding the services that can best help them as they age?
It is easier to comparison shop for almost anything except for healthcare services. According to a July 2012 Consumer Reports article, “Health insurers, consumer advocates and economists are among those who want patients to recognize cost variations in health care, find out what care should cost and comparison shop…it’s a challenge. Many consumers just aren’t motivated to do research….”
An aging ‘boomer’ himself, Ira Yellen experienced the confusing array of choices in selecting home health agencies for his mother’s care in Florida from his home in Connecticut. “Based on my experiences — from helping to market home care agencies to looking into temporary homecare services for my mother — finding a comprehensive, reliable source is like finding an oasis in the desert,” said Yellen. “I’m not alone: most people still depend on referrals from physicians and friends, co-workers and neighbors to find help for their older loved ones, which results in incomplete or conflicting information.”
Passionate about helping others navigate the system, and with the belief that home care services provide an ideal option for elders who can remain in their homes, Yellen has introduced the pilot of a new free-to-consumer web site, HomecareMatchKiosk.com, that will provide access to certified professional home care, health care and hospice agencies and services across the country.
The pilot web site’s first phase, which launched today, offers an easy way to select quality home care services in five New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island). In 2013, the site will expand to include home care services nationwide.
The agencies listed on HomecareMatchKiosk.com are reviewed and screened to give visitors access to quality home care agencies and professionals who provide services for families that have a loved one with an illness, disability, or who need help with daily living.
Inspired by the online education and consumer-friendly models of Consumer Reports and TurboTax, and developed with input from family caregivers, guardians and states’ home care associations; HomecareMatchKiosk.com encourages visitors to visit its education and information pages to learn about their options before searching for a quality compatible agency.
HomecareMatchKiosk.com visitors then begin a four-step process to locate agencies, searching by location, medical condition of the loved one and the level of assistance required to perform daily living functions such as bathing, dressing, walking, cooking, housekeeping, taking medications, companionship and transportation. The search then yields a list of up to four agencies, each with contact information, that best match the visitor’s search criteria.
“Online search is how our generation finds and validates information. As caregivers for our loved ones, we’ve been crying out for a more effective way to search for quality home care online,” said Yellen.
“As we continue to expand listings of home care agencies nationwide, the feedback we receive from visitors will influence the site as it evolves. What is HomecareMatchKiosk.com’s ultimate goal? To help us all make easier, more informed decisions for our loved ones’ home care,” said Yellen.
Find HomecareMatchKiosk.com on:
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecare-Match Kiosk/102705479887395?ref=ts&fref=ts)