5 – Choosing a Nursing Care Service

Fact sheet no. 5

You can choose from a variety of home nursing care service providers to provide assistance with hygiene, household duties and supervision. There are also nursing care services that have special offers such as care for young nursing patients or patients with intensive or palliative care needs.

Services used from a nursing provider are referred to as material benefits. The maximum cost assumed by the nursing care fund is defined by the respective care level. The nursing service provider directly invoices the nursing care fund for the service provided.

Before first contacting a nursing care provider, it is important to think about what services are required on which days and at what time. Also, any needs due to particular life routines should also be spoken about.

You can get information about which nursing care service providers are near you at the nursing support centre, from your health insurance company or from the nursing care fund.

Many nursing services offer free home visits to discuss their services. A written offer should be prepared. With this, offers from several nursing services can be compared. The amount of the co-payment must always be discussed in advance and clearly indicated in the offer. If the income or the assets of the person in need of care are insufficient to cover the cost of the co-payment, assistance should be sought with the social welfare office at the place of residence before a care service provider is employed. See information sheet no. 37

The patient can terminate the contracts with the nursing care provider at any time without notice. The termination period for the nursing care provider against the person in need of care should be specified in the contract. A minimum notice period of four weeks is standard. The nursing service documents the services rendered in writing. In order to settle with the nursing fund, the proof of services received must be reviewed and signed by the patient or his representative.

24-hour service

If 24-hour care is required, there are two options:

  • these services can be performed in shifts by several professionals or
  • one care provider is chosen to be available 24-hours a day. Certain conditions must be fulfilled for the nurse who is living in the household. For further information, please refer to Information Sheet No. 41 (24-Hour Care and Home Care).
Possible questions for the nursing service provider:
Does the service have an agreement in place with the nursing care insurance, health insurance and social service?
Does the service provide all services that you need, such as services at night or treatment care, or can they be mediated through partner services?
Can I get an offer from the service provider listing the services I require?
Is help available for relatives such as care instruction or lessons for relatives as caregivers?
Will a written service contract (customer contract) be concluded?
Are prices and services clearly stated?
Is the co-payment amount clearly stated?
How does the nursing service deal with problems or complaints?
Who is your contact?
How are relatives and other caregivers involved
in the planning?
Can times be set at which care will be provided?
Are there deviations in care times and how will I be informed of changes?
Can preferences about the caregiver be fulfilled (for example, gender, mutual liking)?
How many people will most likely take turns providing care? Will there be a primary caregiver?
Will existing skills be supported by the caregiver?
Is the nursing care provider available at all times, even at night?
If necessary, is round the clock care available?
What will happen if nursing care is not needed temporarily (e.g. due to a hospital stay)?
Which services are provided according to § 45a / b SGB XI? (Offers of domestic care and care services).