Home health focuses on helping patients recover from illness, injury, a medical procedure, or manage a chronic illness – all in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. More and more, the healthcare industry sees value and effectiveness of care as the top priorities and measures of success. And dollar for dollar, home health is uniquely positioned to drive the prevention of unnecessary re-hospitalizations, improve patient independence and outcomes, and lower costs for all providers. As a leading provider, our goal is to improve collaboration across the spectrum of care – both the upstream and downstream segments of the acute patient journey within traditional facility-based STAC, CCU, SICU, MICU, SNF, or LTAC spaces.
As a downstream component of patient care, home healthcare agencies have both an ability and responsibility as part of the point-of-care (POC) development process ahead of a patient’s formal discharge or step-down. The role of the medical director is critical to improving global communication within the healthcare industry as our physician partners are able to leverage their own expertise and experience to inform the decisions made and actions taken by both agency operators and community representatives.
- Inform strategic decision-making
- Increase collaborative ability
- Identify industry trends
- Provide technical oversight
Redefining the Care Continuum
We have the same goal: To help ensure that patients recover as quickly and efficiently as possible – or manage their chronic condition to achieve the best possible quality of life.
We work with our partners to implement a care strategy that improves patient outcomes and maximizes operational efficiency. In effect, our home health is a “house call” that we make on their behalf.
Over the course of 25 years, we have found that patients can benefit from front-loaded visits, medication reconciliation, seamless care coordination, and aggressive monitoring. Our clinical programs are proven to reduce the likelihood of avoidable readmission.
We can be a patient’s first call. Our skilled clinicians recognize and address potential problems before they get out of control – providing patients with a higher level of confidence and peace of mind.
Our goal is to help patients maintain their independence and reduce frequent and unnecessary calls or visits to their physician’s office or trips to the ER. Our home health professionals help keep patients out of the hospital and recovering in the comfort of home.
We are an extension of the education that physicians and clinical teams provide within the traditional facility-based setting. In addition, we can help take much of the weight of responsibility off their shoulders – along with the worry and wondering about when a patient will return to the unit.
Home health provides assistance with many aspects of recovery and condition management:
- Improve your Medicare patient’s compliance through teaching and training in the home
- Managing medications
- Understanding diseases and/or conditions
- Making healthy food choices
- Monitoring treatment progress
- Minimizing the risk of falls, infections, and other setbacks
Know the requirements to meet the definition of “homebound.” Do not certify unless the requirements are met and documented and meet the true legal requirement for homebound status. Generally, homebound patients cannot leave the home because of their condition; the patient’s condition keeps him or her from leaving home without help (such as using a wheelchair or walker, needing special transportation, or getting help from another person); or leaving home takes a considerable and taxing effort.
A face-to-face visit is always required by the physician or mid-level to certify home bound status. A physician should not sign a form certifying a patient as homebound if the physician was not the one who completed the form, or is not otherwise acting as a proper collaborating/supervising physician for a mid-level who completed the form. A physician should review whether requirements are met and make sure they agree with the conclusion reached by the mid-level.
A physician should not take direction from others when it comes to professional judgment. Many fraud cases involve the owners of home health businesses/physician staffing companies pressuring physicians to change wording, modify conclusions, or otherwise certify individuals who do not meet the requirements as homebound. If there are indications of such activity, this is a red flag, and the physician should no longer work at such a company.
A physician should decertify patients who do not, or no longer, meet the homebound requirements. Pressure not to decertify by an employer should also be considered a red flag.