Social Services

Social workers help patients and their families cope with the many challenges that accompany illness, disability, and other life changes. The Social Services department at Holzer is committed to supporting our patients and their families in meeting and managing the challenges they face. Social workers provide a range of services, specific to each patient's need and situation.

Holzer's Social Services department includes a staff of trained social workers who are experienced professionals, possessing either a Bachelor or Master's Degree in Social Work, and are licensed by the State of Ohio. Each staff member is knowledgeable and skilled at providing social services to patients and their families, helping with decision-making and problem solving, adjusting to new situations, and obtaining needed resources and services.

Social workers serve as a liaison between medical personnel, patients, and their families.

We work with patients at all levels of treatment including preadmission and initial assessment of needs, tending to the physical and emotional necessities of the patient during treatment, discharge planning, and post hospital support.

Social workers lend support and assist patients and families in maximizing the benefits of their health care. We benefit patients and families through providing high risk screening, psychosocial assessment and counseling, patient and family advocacy, psycho-education, information and referral, discharge planning, outpatient linkage, consultation, collaboration, outpatient linkage, and continuity of care.

Services social workers provide include:

  • Supportive counseling
  • Caregiver support
  • Crisis intervention
  • Child and adult protective services
  • Guidance with financial and insurance problems
  • Easing transition to home or alternate living setting
  • Help with living will or durable medical power of attorney and DNR code status
  • Resources related to diagnosis and advocacy
  • Help in communicating with physicians, family, and friends
  • Prescription assistance information
  • Referrals for home care, nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, assisted living, or hospice
  • Domestic violence and sexual assault
  • Mental health and behavior problems

Patients Served

At the Social Services department of Holzer Gallipolis, we routinely screen hospital admissions to assess medical and social risk factors. These include patients admitted due to stroke, hip fracture, immobility, altered mental status, chronic medical conditions, change in functional capacity, or life-limited illness. Social risk factors include patients identified with a lack of basic resources, no known formal or informal support system, and suspected victims of neglect or abuse.

Social workers coordinate home health referrals for patients being discharged with skilled nursing and therapy needs, new nursing home placement, rehab, assisted living, or hospice services. We facilitate transfers to Veterans Administration facilities. Additionally, social workers help arrange home and outpatient intravenous antibiotic therapy, TPN infusion, intravenous pain control, and hydration.

We assist with linkage to community resources. Meal delivery, homemaker, transportation, and home waiver services available through senior citizens or department of human services or Passport referrals through Area of Agency are coordinated through Social Services. Social workers also facilitate referrals for durable medical equipment to the vendor choice of the patient.

Patient Navigators

Holzer Medical Center - Jackson offers a unique program providing a Patient Navigator Service. This program began in September 2008 with a goal to help individuals obtain medical coverage for healthcare needs.

The Patient Navigator program is a blend of social work services, case management and financial counseling. Several patient navigators are on-site to assist with any questions and to walk an individual through the process of achieving medical coverage, whether through Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Disability Coverage, etc. In addition to these programs, the Patient Navigators are able to offer patient planning with their medical costs.

Patient Navigators are able to utilize the Ohio Benefit Bank, which is available at Holzer Medical Center - Jackson. This is where an individual would apply for Medicaid and authorizes one of the HMC-J Patient Navigators to be their representative while going through the application process.

In addition to helping inpatient and outpatients, Patient Navigators are able to assist individuals utilizing the Hospital’s Emergency Department services.

Advanced Directives

If you were unable to communicate your care preferences to a healthcare team, who would you want to make those decisions for you? Have you named someone on a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare document that will carry out your wishes?

The number of people who do not have this document or their Living Will completed is shocking. In the absence of a legal document, a decision-maker would be named from a list of individuals to make these decisions. The person identified may or may not be the person an individual would want to have that authority. That is why it is so necessary to complete a Living Will and make arrangements with your designee to carry out the kind of care you request in these situations.

Download a PDF printable version of an advanced directive packet.

Common Questions

What does Medicare cover in a nursing facility?

Medicare pays for the first twenty days of an admission to a skilled nursing facility (SNF). If a patient continues to meet Medicare guidelines, coverage may be available up to 100 days. Many supplemental insurance policies cover Medicare co-insurance in a nursing facility.

How long does Medicare pay?

In a skilled nursing facility, coverage is at 100% for twenty days, and a co-insurance amount is required between the 21st and 100th day. Medicare can pay up to the first 60 days of an acute admission before co-insurance payments are required. Regular hospital days do rebuild once a patient is out of the hospital for a designated length of time.

What is home health?

Home Health is beneficial for patients who continue to have skilled nursing or therapy needs after their hospital discharge. This can include nursing, home health aide, physical therapy, occupational or speech therapist visits. A home health aide can be provided if a skilled nursing or therapy need is identified. Medicare Part A covers home health at 100%. Medicare Part B may also provide coverage for home health as does Medicaid and most major medical health plans.

What facilities/resources are located in my county?

The social worker is available to assist you in identifying nursing facilities, home health agencies, assisted living, rehabilitation facilities, hospice, infusion companies, medical equipment vendors, social security or human services offices or other identified linkage. Social workers will coordinate linkage with the service identified.

What are the income guidelines for Medicaid?

Medicaid is a federal and state program that is based upon financial and physical eligibility. Medicaid also provides coverage for long term care, inpatient rehabilitation, and home health. Social workers can provide you with information that may help determine if you may qualify. Nursing home benefits also include what is referred to a “Medicaid spousal impoverishment.” A spouse may access income and assets of a institutionalized spouse to assist them with maintaining home residency. Social workers are available to for information concerning this program for both Ohio and West Virginia residents.

Do social workers work for the county and/or the state?

Yes, that is true. Professional social workers are employed in many health care settings, including Holzer Medical Center.

Can social workers tell a patient or their family members what they have to do?

Social workers attempt to foster each patient’s right to self-determination and recognize each patient’s sense of autonomy. The first axiom of social work is to start where the patient is, that is, the social worker assesses the social system of the patient and the interface between the patient and his or her environment. We intervene to improve the patient’s ability to function effectively within his or her social network.

Must social workers report abuse and domestic violence?

We are mandated by state law to report suspected cases of neglect, domestic violence, or abuse.

Will you see to it that my family member is placed in a nursing facility?

When a patient is unwilling to enter a nursing facility, and proves to be alert and oriented and has not been declared incompetent, it is not possible for us to place them into a nursing facility against their will.

May I complete advanced directives for a family member?

No. Advanced care directives may only be completed for oneself. However, we can assist an individual with his or her own advanced directive paperwork.

Can you help with wills and financial power of attorney?

No. Social Services is unable to assist patients with wills or financial powers of attorney.

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