Home Health and Wound Care Management

Injury, surgery and immobility can all cause serious wounds that require time and treatment to heal properly. Home health provides wound therapy for acute and chronic wounds. It has been shown that home health care improves patient comfort and healing time, while reducing complications that can lead to wound related readmission.

Many home health agencies utilize specialized wound care clinicians to create an individualized wound care regimen for each patient, based on their wound type and the level of assistance needed. These clinicians can provide education to patients and caregivers on proper nutrition for healing, wound care, and how to recognize signs of infection.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 6.5 million Americans are currently afflicted with chronic wounds. Highlight your agency’s wound care management program and patient outcome scores when calling on your referring physicians. Show them your commitment to patient care by sharing a customized wound-care zone flyer with them. These flyers, customized with your agency’s information, provide patients with step-by-step instructions on when they are in the clear, or when they need to contact your agency or seek emergency care.

Facts about dressings:

Hydrocolloid – is non-breathable self-adhesive dressing that are coated with absorbent polysaccharides which keep the wound clean and promote quick healing.

Hydrogel – is a cooling gel that us used to treat painful non-leaking wounds and second-degree burns.

Alginate – is a biodegradable dressing that contains sodium and seaweed fibers for absorbing high amounts of fluid from wounds that have excessive drainage.

Collagen – is a frequently used dressing for chronic or large area wounds, that helps eliminate dead tissue, promote blood vessel growth, and wound closure. 

Foam – is a multipurpose dressing that perpetuates a moist bacteria-free environment for fast healing.

Transparent – a flexible clear film dressing for wounds that require close monitoring.

Cloth – is a commonly used dressing, best suited for minor injuries.

Visit www.tagwebstore.com to stock up on your home health and hospice marketing essentials. Call us at 866-232-6477 to learn more about our Patient Outcome scores materials for Physicians.

Helping Elderly Patients Weather the Winter

Home health and hospice care providers often see a rise in senior health problems as the days become shorter and the temperature drops outside. Along with an increase in medical challenges, depression can accompany the change of seasons.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that begins and ends with seasonal changes. Most people who suffer with the “winter blues” begin feeling the effects in the Fall and deal with progressive depression until Spring.

Isolation can easily become a catalyst for depression and it’s unfortunately a situation that many older adults deal with. Seniors with mobility restrictions and limited social interaction are more likely to experience the “winter blues”. Remind your referral network this winter that home care provides social interaction as well as quality health care.

Symptoms of SAD to watch for:

  • Fatigue

  • Reduced energy

  • Heaviness in the arms and legs

  • Loss of concentration

  • Over eating and weight gain

  • Feeling of hopelessness

  • Sleep disruption

  • Loss of interest in usual activities

  • Anxiety

The winter also brings a greater risk of heart complications. According to the AHA, seniors who have cardiovascular conditions may experience side effects when exposed to cold temperatures. Other conditions amplified by the cold temperatures include: joint pain, lung spasms, flu, and pneumonia. Promote your agency’s services this winter and the benefit of including home health, private duty, and hospice as part of a patient’s care team.

How you can promote the advantages of Home Health:

-Stock up on personalized hand sanitizers and distribute them to the offices of your referring physicians.

-Host a “Tips for staying healthy” class for older adults at the senior centers and churches throughout your service area. Focus on cold and Flu prevention and the importance of vaccinations.

 -Promote the advantages of home health care in avoiding exposure to contagions present in doctor’s offices or hospitals.

-Choose our “Stress, Depression at the Holidays” issue for your next newsletter. We offer 42 Home Health and 26 Hospice newsletters personalized to your agency. Be sure to include your referral sources in your mailing.

Visit www.tagwebstore.com for all your Home Health and Hospice print media.

Recognizing your Referral Sources at the Holidays

You may still have Halloween candy lingering around the house, but if you're not already thinking about holiday client appreciations, you're behind.

The holidays provide an excellent opportunity to recognize your referral sources in a memorable way. The first step in planning your remembrances is to brush up on a few health care reform guidelines and statutes to make sure you are on the straight and narrow:

  1. The Stark Law (The Stark Law is a healthcare fraud and abuse law that prohibits physicians from referring patients for certain designated health services paid for by Medicare to any entity in which they have a “financial relationship.”)

  2. Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“The AKS is a criminal law that prohibits the knowing and willful payment of "remuneration" to induce or reward patient referrals or the generation of business involving any item or service payable by the Federal health care programs”)

  3. State regulations. (If you're not sure about whether something you have planned is legal or in compliance with your state's rules, check with your local legal counsel. Remember, just because another home health company is doing something doesn't mean it's legal.)

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can stay compliant and still show your appreciation for the excellent working relationships you've developed. It's important to remember that the gifts given can't reflect the volume of referrals provided by the physician. The best solution is to provide the same gift for everyone.

Here are a few giveaway ideas:

  • For a conservative approach, stand out with a holiday card that subtly reinforces the value of home care. Make sure to sign it by hand -- extra points for having your entire leadership team sign it.

  • Make a charitable donation to a group that supports a relevant health care issue (American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, etc.) and let your referral sources know that in lieu of gifts, your company has chosen to support the worthy charitable cause.

  • The holidays are an excellent time to distribute branded home care calendars. These not only educate about the benefits of home care or hospice or when a referral is appropriate, but these attractive calendars will be referred to all year long, putting your referral information in prime position countless times.

  • If opting for a more traditional nominal holiday gift, try to make it a little unusual. For example, if you've decided on a coffee mug, look for one that's distinctive in shape or function. Try to come up with something that will be useful for the recipient: maybe an essential oil diffuser, phone power bank, umbrella, or a smart lunch tote. For help navigating your options, contact TAG Partners today at 866-232-6477 x 2018.

Visit our web store for your home health and hospice client appreciation gifts. We are a full-service print shop and an ASI member, so if you don’t see what you are looking for give us a call at 866-232-6477. We specialize in special.

Heart Disease and Home Health

The Fall of the year is a time that traditionally brings family, friends and celebration to mind. It’s also a time when many people tend to overindulge in food and drink. While this behavior might not have repercussions for young healthy adults, adults with poor cardio heath could be increasing their chance of developing Congestive Heart Failure.

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the progressive deterioration of heart function as a result of any number of cardiovascular disorders or conditions that overwork the heart. CHF is not curable but it can be managed in its earlier stages with medication, lifestyle changes, and careful monitoring. Care plans vary depending on the underlying cause but many require some form of cardiac rehabilitation. Choosing home health as a rehabilitation partner can maximize a patient’s activity tolerance, provide better case management, and help identify any signs of disease progression.

Home health care improves outcomes for CHF patients while minimizing the risk of complication and readmission. Many agencies are now using telemonitoring systems to closely monitor their CHF patients. Telemonitoring has been found to decrease hospital admissions, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce overall cost of care. 

As the disease progresses home health support is a good solution for managing medicines, and transitioning after a hospital stay. Advanced CHF patients should consider a private duty care service to help with daily tasks, housekeeping, and running errands. Remind your referral sources about the benefits of including home health, private duty, and hospice as care partners for their CHF patients.

Get the word Out:

We have disease specific materials for Home Health, and Hospice that provide patient education while promoting your agency’s services. Visit the TAG webstore for information on our CHF Management Guide for Physician flyers, CHF Health Care flyers for patients, and our  Guide to Hospice and the Patient with Heart Disease brochures.

Recognizing Family Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Make a commitment to honor the loving people who dedicate countless hours and resources caring for a chronically or terminally ill relative.

It’s not unheard of for a family member to care for an invalid loved one at home, but these days family caregivers are being asked to shoulder immense responsibilities while balancing work and home obligations. These caregivers are often unprepared to manage the complex nursing required for someone suffering with a serious chronic condition. The physical and emotional demands of long-term caregiving can lead to anxiety, depression, compromised health, and financial hardship. .

Home Health, Private Duty, and Hospice provide services that can assist family caregivers. Many of these services are eligible for Medicare and private insurance coverage with physician referral. Be sure your marketing resources inform families about the in-home services available to help with: skilled nursing, symptom management, pain management, nutritional support, wound care, diabetic care, IV therapy, respite care, companionship and homemaking services.

Here are some promotional ideas:

  • Call on Human Resource agencies in your service area about promoting your care services on their employee portals. Explain how your agency can help caregivers achieve better work-home balance. Ask them to link to your website for detailed information and a one-on-one assessment. 

  • Sponsor a family caregiver event in your community. Discuss long-term planning, care options, and home care services. Invite financial planners, lawyers, social workers, and the full spectrum of home health and private duty providers to speak.

  • Family caregivers usually accompany their loved ones to doctor visits so be sure to provide your referring physicians with information about your respite care services.

  • Add a link to the Caregiver Action Network’s Family Caregiver Story Project on your website to show your commitment to helping caregivers find the resources they need. Visitors can read about the experiences of other family caregivers and find condition specific information to help them in their care giving role.

Visit the TAG Web Store for all your Home Health, Private Duty, and Hospice marketing materials.