National home care and health care leaders kicked off an 18-month national home-health quality-improvement campaign this month at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) headquarters. Registration to participate opened to all home health agencies on January 21.
Known as the Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI) National Campaign, the initiative is a grassroots movement designed to unite home-health stakeholders and health care organizations, reduce avoidable hospitalizations and improve medication management.
Nationwide, organizers plan to distribute resources, guidelines, information and best-practices education to home-health agencies that agree to participate.
“Quality health care for people with Medicare is a high priority for CMS,” said Jean Moody-Williams, R.N., M.P.P., director of CMS’ Quality Improvement Group. “We are pleased to see such a diverse mix of home-care and other stakeholders working together to improve patient care and achieve our vision for the right care for every person every time.”
Johns Hopkins Home Health Services, a part of the Johns Hopkins Health System, is serving as a Local Area Network for Excellence (LANE) for Maryland and the District of Columbia, acting as a central hub of activity in the HHQI National Campaign. LANEs are expected to create campaign awareness, provide participant encouragement and facilitate communication among agencies. LANEs also facilitate agency recruitment.
“Johns Hopkins Home Health Services is honored to serve as the LANE for the District of Columbia and Maryland,” says Mary Myers, vice president/chief operating officer for Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. “In this era of health care reform, home health agencies clearly demonstrate their value, because they have the opportunity to improve patient care and the ability to reduce the costs of avoidable readmissions,” she adds. There truly is “no place like home care, because patients prefer to stay home when possible and it is the least costly setting,” she says.
Myers says JHHHS has lower hospital readmission rates for patients receiving care than state and national rates reported by the home-health industry to CMS. “Our results have been achieved through steadfast commitment to the highest level of safe, quality home-health care to help patients remain at home,” she adds.
The focus of the home-health quality-improvement campaign includes:
1. Risk assessments
2. Emergency care plans
3. Fall prevention programs
4. Increased initial visits
5. Remote patient monitoring
7. Improved medication management
8. Physician communication
The 2010 Campaign is a continuation and expansion of the 2007 campaign, in which more than 5,000 home-health agencies participated.
At the kickoff on January 13, more than 300 representatives of Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), health care industry leaders, home-health agencies, and CMS heard details of the campaign. Speakers included Steven Landers, M.D. director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Home Care and Community Rehabilitation; David Wenner, M.D., medical director for Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, the Medicare QIO for Pennsylvania; and CMS leadership.
More information about the campaign can be found on the campaign’s Web site at www.homehealthquality.org.
Johns Hopkins Home Care Group (JHHCG) offers a broad range of health care products, medications and services for adults and children. Home-health visits are provided by Johns Hopkins Home Health Services and Johns Hopkins Pediatrics at Home’s experienced nurses, therapists, social workers and aides. In addition, Johns Hopkins Pharmaquip provides a full scope of respiratory, home medical equipment, infusion pharmacy and nursing services, medication therapy management and the operation of the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Pharmacies. A complete line of respiratory, durable medical equipment, supplies, medications and the provision of home infusion medications are supported by the clinical management of expert respiratory therapists, pharmacists, infusion nursing specialists and dieticians. The organization is accredited by The Joint Commission, is Medicare-certified and licensed by the state. Johns Hopkins Home Care Group receives very high rankings in patient satisfaction from independent surveys performed by the Press Ganey organization. Further information regarding JHHCG is available at www.hopkinshomecare.org or 410-288-8003.
Johns Hopkins Home Care Group
Media Contact: Susan Martin