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December 1, 2008

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  • Accusations of theft by HHA employees increase

    "Home health nurse arrested for theft.".... "Family accuses home health nurse of stealing from patient." All home health managers cringe when they see the increasing number of headlines that proclaim home health nurses or aides as guilty of stealing from patients. Are these headlines aberrations, or is there a real, growing trend in the home health industry?
  • Require disclosure to avoid misunderstandings

    Home health nurses, aides, and therapists do a wonderful job caring for their patients, so it is natural that the patients and families want to thank them with gifts. Unfortunately, the size and type of gift can put the employee and agency in the uncomfortable position of being accused of theft if strict guidelines are not developed and followed.
  • Background checks, references important

    Checking a potential employee's background is harder than ever, with previous employers reluctant to give much information about the employee beyond the dates they worked at the organization.
  • Face-to-face meetings improve communications

    Case conferences can be an excellent way to improve communications between staff members and ensure that the plan of care is up to date. The challenge presented by case conferences for hospice and home health agencies is the staff's perception that time spent in meetings is not time well spent for patient care.
  • The Joint Commission places standards online

    The Joint Commission's revised standards, rationales, and elements of performance for 2009 for home care, which includes hospice, now are available online.
  • Chronic care program helps diabetics manage

    A chronic care program for diabetics at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Tucson, AZ, provides recommended care at a reduced cost and copay, helps them develop self-management goals, and supports them when they go back into their communities.
  • Patients receive all their interventions in one place

    Monthly diabetes group visits, where patients receive all their recommended tests and examinations in one place, are an effective and cost-efficient way to help diabetics keep their disease under control, but they take a lot of organization, says Donna Zazworsky, RN, MS, CCM, FAAN, manager of network diabetes care, faith community nursing and telemedicine for Carondelet Health Network in Tucson, AZ.
  • CMs help seniors understand treatment plans

    When selected Medicare beneficiaries being treated at University of Michigan Health System facilities are discharged from the hospital medical unit or treated and released from the emergency department, case managers at the University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice Medical Management Center call them to make sure they have follow-up appointments and that they understand their treatment plan.
  • News Briefs

    The annual number of patients discharged from U.S. community hospitals to home health care rose 53% between 1997 and 2006, while the number discharged to long-term care and other facilities rose 30%, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Hospice, home health drive more than UPS

    Nurses, therapists, home care aides, and others who serve elderly and disabled patients in their own homes drive nearly 5 billion miles each year.