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Frequently Asked Questions about Elder Care        
             
 

What makes PrimeCare different?
Unlike other elderly care management services, PrimeCare is a medically focused program staffed by registered nurses with extensive experience and expertise in both medical and elder care service. Many elders experiencing difficulties will often have a medical issue(s) as the root cause of their condition. Accordingly, PrimeCare nurses typically begin their geriatric assessments by developing a full understanding of the elder’s medical history and current medical condition, treatment plans, etc. If medical care issues or concerns are identified, the PrimeCare care manager will interface with the elder’ physician(s) and other care providers to ensure they receive the best elderly health care possible. With the elder’s medical status under control, the foundation then exists for the elder, caregiver and PrimeCare care manager to begin making the important life maintenance and elder care decisions that remain.

What does PrimeCare do to help?
Our initial and primary focus is that of geriatric assessment and guidance for the elder and their family caregivers. We utilize our expertise and knowledge of the health and elder care worlds to guide you to appropriate and cost effective elder care decisions and options. The action items within our care plans may be completed by the elder and/or caregiver, or we can help with implementation in whatever fashion you feel is best. The choice is always yours. As an example, we may recommend that you have a home health aide come to the elder’s home each day to prepare meals and do light chores. We can guide you in finding and selecting reputable, cost appropriate agencies that provide these elder care services. Regardless of the recommended service or care, we will always be available to provide you with the eldery help and guidance you need.

Can PrimeCare work with my elder’s doctors to help with his medical care?
One of PrimeCare’s key strengths is its knowledge and expertise in elderly medical management and patient care. Our care managers are registered nurses who know how to navigate complex healthcare systems, and who are comfortable interacting with medical providers on your behalf. If you approve, we will gladly work with the elder’s doctors to ensure that you fully understand the medical issues under treatment and the physician's related elder care plans. We will help to arrange and coordinate the elders care, and even convene and participate in elder/family and doctors meetings to provide caregiver support.

Does my doctor need to be a Massachusetts General Hospital physician?
No. We will provide medical and elder case management regardless of the physician’s practice location or Hospital affiliation.

Is Massachusetts General PrimeCare affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital?
Yes. Massachusetts General PrimeCare is an eldery care program sponsored and supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital. Our primary focus and goal is to do what is best for our elder client and the caregiver(s) who supports them…regardless of the elder’s physician or hospital affiliations.

Is there anything we can do to reduce our elder’s medication costs?
In many cases, steps can be taken to reduce or even eliminate medication costs for the elderly. Many elders do not fully understand the drug prescription benefit in their insurance plans, or they simply may not understand how to submit prescriptions to ensure benefit coverage. Other elderly and their care givers are not aware of free or reduced cost medicine programs in their community. To illustrate, PrimeCare recently assisted an 80 year-old client who was paying $400 a month for his medications. The care manager reviewed his financial situation and found that he was eligible for free elderly medications. We can also work with the elder’s primary care physician and other providers to coordinate medication management and ensure that only truly necessary medications are being prescribed.

My family disagrees over what is best for our elder. Can PrimeCare help?
In each engagement PrimeCare is committed to doing do what is best for the elder. To this end, our care managers bring years of experience and expertise in elder care, and are very effective in working with families and caregivers to find the best solutions possible. We bring professional and objective assessments and recommendations to situations that are often highly complex and emotional in nature. By providing expert, fact based objective guidance, PrimeCare allows families to make decisions that will be best for their elder and the family caregivers who care for them.

Can you help when the elder resides outside Massachusetts?
Yes, but our elder care services may be limited to general care guidance, identifying caregiver solutions (i.e. help with financial or legal matters, health care proxies, long-term insurance, etc.) or interface with care management organizations supporting the elder. If you are planning to move an elder from out-of-state to a Massachusetts living situation, we can help to facilitate the move and identify alternative living options, care programs, etc.

Does Medicare cover PrimeCare services?
No. Massachusetts General PrimeCare is a fee-for-service program that may be covered by some long-term care insurance policies.