According to the current Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) ratings, Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital’s Home Health Care received a 5-star rating, the highest rating possible.
Wanda Roth, RN, BSN, director of Ste. Genevieve Home Health, said the purpose of the HHCAPS survey is to gather information from patients [or their family or friends] about their experiences with a home health agency.
“For example, the survey asks patients about the care they get from their home health agency, and whether they would recommend that agency to someone else,” Roth said. “When choosing a home health agency, patients can use this information to find out what other patients thought about the care given by a certain home health agency. We’re very proud that our patients have confidence in the care we give them and consistently give us a high rating on the survey.”
Roth said home health is primarily used to fill a gap between a hospital stay and recovery, as the majority of her referrals come from patients discharged out of the hospital.
“Our qualifying service is nursing, and every patient who comes in to our home health program has a visit with one of our nurses first,” Roth said. “We do a head to toe assessment — take vital signs, review medications, do lab draws if ordered, etc. We also provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and social services. All of those services would need to be ordered by your physician at time of discharge from the hospital.”
The primary service areas of Ste. Genevieve Home Health are Ste. Genevieve, St. Mary and Bloomsdale. However, a patient discharged from any hospital can use their services.
“We like to tell Ste. Genevieve residents to use their voice,” she said. “They have a choice. They can tell the discharge planners at any hospital where they are staying that they want to use Ste. Genevieve Home Health Services and then those arrangements can be made at that outside hospital.”
She also explained that if a patient visits his or her physician’s office and the provider determines that the patient would benefit from home health services, those services can be ordered at that point.
There is criteria that must be met before receiving home health services.
“Most of our patients are Medicare patients, and the qualification is home-bound status, which means you have a normal inability to leave the home,” Roth said. “You require a walker, a cane, or some type of assistive device, and or the assistance of another person. The second criteria that has to be met is that there is a normal inability to leave the home, meaning it’s a taxing effort; you‘re short of breath or maybe using oxygen. Medicare requires a face-to-face visit with the physician to determine the need for home health visits.”
Ste. Genevieve Home Health sees patients from newborn to seniors and accepts most insurances.
It will check with a patient’s insurance carrier to see what home health benefits are available.
One other service that Ste. Genevieve Home Health offers is Lifeline, when help can be on the way at the touch of a button.
“We’ve being offering Lifeline since 1987, almost as long as Ste. Genevieve Home Health has been around,” Roth said. “There are a couple of different models that work with landlines or wireless models with cell phones. We have a special Lifeline auto alert button that detects a fall. So if you should happen to fall and were unable to push that button, this button would detect that there’s been a sudden change in position and would automatically activate the system to notify your loved one or EMS, depending on how the service was set up.”
Roth explained that for many patients, receiving medical care at home in a familiar environment could lead to quicker recovery times. In the case of patients with chronic conditions, having care in your own home provides an increased degree of reassurance and overall patient satisfaction.
“We work closely with physicians — whether that’s a local physician in the Ste. Genevieve community or an outside physician — to coordinate your care and give you the best possible outcome,” she said.
For more information on Ste. Genevieve Home Health, call 573-883-7724.
(Information in a release from Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.)