Usually, yes. Your treating physician or the hospital or nursing facility where you're a patient will probably refer a particular home healthcare agency. But if you know a different agency you'd prefer or are dissatisfied with the agency your doctor or hospital chooses (or with the particular nurses, therapists, or home health aides the agency sends), you'll likely have some choice in who provides your home healthcare.
Choice of home healthcare agencies
Typically, there's more than one home healthcare agency in most urban and suburban areas, so if there's a particular home healthcare agency you'd like to use, tell your doctor or the facility that's making the arrangements. Likewise, if you've begun care from a particular home healthcare agency that your doctor or a hospital or nursing home chose for you but you're dissatisfied with the agency's care, ask your doctor to refer you to another agency.
There's one big potential restriction on your choice, however: The agency you want must participate in the insurance that will cover your care. Otherwise, you'll have to pay for the home healthcare out of your pocket. If Medicare is covering your home healthcare costs, you won't have any problem -- all home healthcare agencies participate in Medicare. But if you're covered by either private insurance or Medicaid, you'll have to make certain ahead of time that the agency you use participates in the plan or program that covers you. Check directly with the home healthcare agency to learn if it's part of your insurance company's network of providers, or if it participates in Medicaid if you're a Medicaid beneficiary.
Choice among individual home healthcare personnel
Similarly, you can request that a home healthcare agency send a particular nurse, therapist, or aide more often (it may also be good to directly ask this favorite caregiver how best to do this), or that they not send a particular aide you don't want.
Keep in mind that a particular provider's personality or temperament may not be a good enough reason for the agency to honor your request. Unless a provider has actually failed to perform duties properly or in a timely manner, the agency's own staffing and scheduling needs may prevent it from sending you a different provider. However, home healthcare agencies are like other businesses in that they want to make customers happy if they can, so they may well send you the provider you request -- or not send one you don't want -- if you ask and explain why. Also, as with almost all things having to do with medical care, if you can get your doctor to back up your request not to have a particular individual provider (it will help if you can honestly tell your doctor that your recovery is being slowed by having this person), you're more likely to get your wish.