I am wondering what is your new avatar? I can't quite figure it out, a flower from your home?
Anyway, to answer your questions, I have no idea what the rates are in the west. In the east, it's about 22 to 24 per hour, but in the south, it's anywhere from 12 to 16 per hour. No idea what per visit rates are. My agency is the only one around that pays per diems and hourly rate. Per visit rates here go from 30-35 per revisit to 55 or 75 for a new, depending on if it's an IV admit, they get the highest rate (longer visit necessary.)
How long per visit? Revisits anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes avergae, but it truly depends, sometimes an hour. Medicaid only pays after 3 15 minute billing units, so those visits must be 45 minutes, you make all calls from the home, and do all notes there to meet that 45 min rule of thumb. Medicare revisit must be at least 30.
New admits? Usually about 90 min in the home, and I saw a figure from VNAA (vis nurse assoc of amer) that quoted the average amount of time spent on a new admit is 3.2 hours, with average time in the home of 45 minutes. I may be able to do 45 minutes if I know the pt, ie frequent flyer, but not a person I have never seen before, that is amazing. So, you can see, if you are getting 55 for a new admit, and you spend 3.2 hours doing the admit, you are only making 17 + per hour. The reality is if you have a new trach or enteral feeding admit, you will likely spend over 3 to 4 hours on this admission. So, you have to give your rates some thought.
Sad to say, the paperwork is still horrendous. I think that the paperwork will be harder for you as a per diem, as you will not be spending day after day at it, getting it down pat. I worked per diem for a while, but only after I had done some case managing. Whatever you do, if you are only working 1 or 2 days per week, don't agree to case manage, it would be hard for you to follow up, heck, I miss things just being off one day! Be sure they give you a good orientation to the paperwork you need to complete, esp for referrals to other disciplines, and for the managed care companies.
Good luck. I hope you like it. I still love it, and I prefer to do my paperwok at home. If I get done w my visits by 2:30, I can come home, plop my charts down, start dinner, then do my paperwork later in the eve when kids are doing their homework. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you understand the rules of Medicare, and PPS, and learn how to fill out the OASIS correctly the first time, you will decrease your frustration level tremendously.
Best of luck, and remember we are here for you!!