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Home Health Agencies Nationwide Celebrate National Home Care Month

Oklahoma Agencies Continue Work to Reduce Avoidable Acute Care Hospitalizations

Home health agencies across the country are preparing to celebrate National Home Care & Hospice Month in November. The 2007 Home Care Month theme is “Persevering Health Independence and Freedom” – a message that is especially pertinent this year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign on January 11, 2007. Currently more than 5,500 (approximately 65 percent) of the nation’s home health agencies are participating in the HHQI National Campaign, an initiative that has united the home care community under a shared vision of reducing avoidable acute care hospitalizations (ACH) to improve patient quality of care.

Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality is working with 155 home health agencies in our state participating in the HHQI Campaign. The campaign provides a monthly toolkit, or Best Practice Intervention Package, that focuses on topics relevant to reducing ACH, including medication management, telemonitoring, immunizations and physician relationships to name a few.  OFMQ serves as the support hub for the campaign in Oklahoma.  

Home health agencies that are a part of the HHQI National Campaign are learning ways to improve the quality of care they give to their patients in certain key areas. This improvement in care will help prevent patients from having to go to the hospital, thus “persevering health independence and freedom.” 

National Home Care Month is celebrated each year by groups such as the National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). “Home care professionals and volunteers, along with modern medicine and technology, make it possible for sick citizens to be cared for in their homes where they can be surrounded by loved ones and precious mementoes as they live their best quality of life,” said Val J. Halamandaris, president of NAHC.

“The great response to the HHQI National Campaign is indicative of the dedication of our nation’s home health agencies to providing the right care at the right time for every patient,” said Barry M. Straube, MD, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. “CMS is confident that the diligent work being done by these agencies will contribute to a reduction of avoidable hospitalizations which will improve quality outcomes, patient and family satisfaction while avoiding unnecessary complications and costs.”

The Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign was founded by key home health stakeholders:  National Association for Home Care and Hospice; American Association for Homecare; Visiting Nurse Association of America; American Telemedicine Association; Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association; Care Transitions Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; American Occupational Therapy Association; American Physical Therapy Association; American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; Gentiva Health Services; Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Center for Home Care Policy and Research; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its contractors, the Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs); and The Remington Report. Find more information about the campaign and register your support on the official Web site, www.homehealthquality.org

 


This material was adapted from a press release from Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization Support Center for Home Health, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 

Publication number: 8SOW-PA-HHQ07.667.  App: 10/07.