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Skiff Home Care chosen as elite agency

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 11:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 11:28 a.m. CDT

Skiff Home Care has been selected by OCS HomeCare, a product of National Research Corporation that recognizes the top 25 percent of home care agencies in the nation, as a HomeCare Elite winner.

The selection is based on five domains of performance: quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience (HHCAHPS), process measure implementation and financial performance.

“This is great to receive acknowledgment from our home health industry as a top performing agency,” said Bonnie Vos, Home Care. “Our staff work every day to meet the needs of our patients and community and they deserve this award.”

This is the seventh year OCS has recognized HomeCare Elite agencies and the first time Skiff has won and indicates that Skiff Home Care is the agency of choice in Jasper County, as their competitors were not identified as winners.

“We are so proud of this great work,” said Brett Altman, clinical operations officer. “This fabulous news will help amplify awareness of what an elite agency we have for our community members and referring providers.”

The quality of care and process measure data is derived from the home health assessment tool known as the OASIS. This data is also publicly reported on CMS website Home Health Compare. The quality improvement results are obtained based on changes in the eight outcomes between data released in July 2011 and July 2012. Patient experience domain is the outcomes from Press Ganey satisfaction surveys. Financial performance represents the indexed Medicare profit margin form the 2011 CMS Cost Report.

Skiff’s notification of Home Care’s elite status comes at an appropriate time, as November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, with the theme for the former service being “Home Health Care: Celebrating Freedom — Quality Care at Home.”

Home care is often the best answer to the 5 percent of Americans who suffer from multiple, chronic conditions that account for 50 percent of rising health-care costs. By keeping them out of hospitals and in their homes, home care saves money — and supports an even greater cause.

Many of our country’s seniors and disabled oppose the idea of being placed in a nursing home or assisted living. And they shouldn’t have to be there, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a 22-year-old law that bans discrimination on the basis of disability. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people who live in institutions like state hospitals and nursing homes, but could live successfully on their own, have a civil right under the ADA to get their care at home.

“Home care nurses, therapists and aides are the troops in the last great civil rights battle of our time, that to guarantee people the right to get the care they need at home,” said Val J. Halamandaris, President of NAHC. “They combine high tech with high touch as they do what is best for the patients they serve.”

The latest data from the Department of Labor (DOL) shows that home care has boomed as America ages and the baby boomers begin entering their golden years. Registered nurses, home health aides, and personal care aides are among the top five occupations projected to see the largest increase in jobs by 2020 as more people need their services than ever before.

The Affordable Care Act has put forth several initiatives to support aged and disabled people in their homes. The Community First Choice Option assists states with the costs of in-home programs for people who would otherwise wind up in institutions, and the Balancing Incentive Program increases federal matching grants in states with less coverage for home and community-based services.

“In 1999, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued the Olmstead decision, they articulated a constitutional right to home care,” Halamandaris said. “The present health care system is geared toward acute care when what is needed is more coverage of chronic disease. What home care and hospice offers patients is great care that preserves their dignity in the comfort of their own homes.”

Hospice is based on the belief that every life matters and on giving state-of-the art medical care that comforts and eases pain. When medicine can add no more days to your life, hospice can add more life to your remaining days. Hospice turns illness into an inner journey by committing to the highest quality of care. Hospice uses new technologies to speed up its response to patients’ needs, gives bereavement support, and offers public education on end-of-life care.

To learn more about Skiff, visit www.skiffmed.com or “like” them on www.facebook.com/skiffmed.

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