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Ancillary services are a key part of the healthcare sector. In this article, we define the term “ancillary services” and explain how they relate to nursing home abuse.

Key Takeaways

  • Ancillary services are services supporting doctors, nurses, and dentists to help them function effectively and provide their patients with the best possible care
  • There are three types of ancillary services: diagnostic ancillary services, therapeutic ancillary services, and custodial ancillary services
  • Diagnostic ancillary services include things like blood tests, imaging studies, and urine tests
  • Therapeutic ancillary services include things like physical therapy, psychotherapy, and occupational therapy
  • Custodial ancillary services include things like hospice, home health care, and nursing homes
  • Nursing homes are an essential ancillary service, but residents and loved ones should be aware of the risk of nursing home abuse 

What Are Ancillary Services?

In healthcare, ancillary services, ​​also called ancillary care, are a wide range of support services intended to help doctors, nurses, and dentists. Physicians can request ancillary services to help them with the treatment or diagnosis of an illness or injury. As such, they are necessary for physicians to be able to function effectively. For example, when a hospital sends a patient to an in-house pharmacy to refill a prescription, that is an ancillary service. 

Ancillary services are critical for allowing physicians to provide the best possible care for their patients. States regulate ancillary service providers and their equipment determining what consultation and supervision are needed. Most allied health care workers are required to be certified and physicians are sometimes required to be present during certain services such as diagnostic cardiac testing.

Types of Ancillary Services

There are three types of ancillary services:

Diagnostic Ancillary Services 

Usually provided in offices, hospitals, ambulatory service centers, or free-standing diagnostic testing facilities, diagnostic ancillary services include:

  • Radiology
  • Audiology
  • Pulmonary testing services
  • Clinical laboratory services
  • Imaging studies
  • Urinalysis tests
  • Blood tests

Therapeutic Ancillary Services

These services improve patients' health and well-being and include things like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nutrition education
  • Certain cosmetic services such as facials and Botox treatment

Custodial Ancillary Services 

This type of ancillary service is used for patients recovering from chronic illness or injury or dealing with lifelong illness or disability. These include:

  • Hospice
  • Home health care
  • Nursing homes

Ancillary Services and Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes are a type of custodial ancillary service in which older adults who are unable to live independently receive inpatient care. Nursing homes are important essential services that allow many to have as high a quality of life as possible. 

However, it’s important to be aware that nursing home residents can be quite vulnerable and, unfortunately, are often victims of abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be caring for them. As a result, residents and their loved ones should remain aware and vigilant of the risk of nursing home abuse. 

If you or a loved one have experienced nursing home abuse, you are encouraged to contact an attorney to see if you may be able to recover compensation for your suffering and injuries.

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