Haven Blog

Important Information for Baby Boomers!

- Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By RONDA W. McKEITHEN Guest Columnist of Louisiana Health & Wellness TODAY

Reporting from a recent lobbying visit to Washington, DC, this is Ronda McKeithen, RN, DON and Assistant Administrator of Haven Home Health. The reason for the trip was to address homecare cuts experienced in 2011 and proposed sweeping cuts to the Medicare Home Health benefit for 2012 including continued proposed cuts through 2019. I, along with Warren Hebert, Executive Director of the Home Care Association of La., And Shannon Blake, RN, Assistant DON of Haven Home Health, met with several U.S. Congressmen including Rodney Alexander and Charles Boustany to discuss the continued drastic cuts to homecare. Both Alexander and Boustany are strong supporters of home care with each stressing how significant savings have been proven by home health over nursing home and hospital care. I have had many opportunities to visit with our Legislators and Congressmen across Louisiana and in Washington, DC. U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu sent top Deputy Aide, Tari Bradford to spend a day with me visiting with some of our home health patients. It has been enlightening for me to hear bipartisan opinions and ideas from our lawmakers concerning Medicare and Medicaid cuts to homecare. As a country we are in the process of experiencing an acute lack of access to care for Medicaid recipients and Medicare beneficiaries. The poor and the elderly are at a disadvantage in the health care game. Medicaid reimburses so little for every aspect of medical care that subsequently health care entities are sometimes reluctant to accept Medicaid patients. Most health care entities actually lose money when they accept a Medicaid patient.

What Types of Services do Home Health Agencies Provide?

- Thursday, August 04, 2011

Home health agencies are dedicated to providing quality medical care in the comfort and convenience of the patient’s home.  The types of services they provide varies some from one agency to the next, but most Medicare-certified home health agencies  provide the following types of services.

Skilled Nursing:  Nursing services are often the main type of service provided by home health agencies.  These services are provided by both registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).  They can perform a variety of tasks, including post-acute care, observation and assessment, medication administration and management, wound care, and pain management, as well as educating caregivers and patients regarding disease management.  Skilled nurses often provide management of specific conditions, such as congestive heart failure and diabetes.

Therapy Services: When nursing care is not enough, most agencies also offer therapy services such as physical, occupational and speech/language therapy.  Physical therapists focus on strengthening the lower body in order to improve endurance and mobility and are oftentimes critical to post surgery recovery.  Occupational therapists focus primarily on strengthening the upper body and helping patients learn to safely complete tasks of daily living, such as showering, eating and dressing.  Speech therapists help patients regain abilities following a stroke and also help patients who have difficulties swallowing as a result of a medical event.

Other Services: There are a variety of other services that are commonly offered.  Some of these include diet plan management and education, visually impaired services also called low vision services, medical social services, and home care assistants.
Haven Home Health provides all of these services to meet all of the individual needs of each patient they serve.  If you have questions about any of our services, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.