Author: info@dmhhss.com

Pennsylvania Homecare Association, Legislators Call for Greater Support for In-Home Care Industry

Harrisburg (April 12, 2022) – Today, the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA), along with members of a Pennsylvania General Assembly, held a press conference to call for critical funding and resources to ensure that access to quality, in-home care remains available for all Pennsylvanians in need.

The demand for in-home care has never been higher. Unfortunately, home-based care providers continue to face persistent barriers in serving Pennsylvanians in need, including chronic underfunding, a crisis-level workforce shortage, and unnecessary regulatory burdens.

As a result, Pennsylvanians most in need are at risk of losing access to quality, in-home care.

For years, Pennsylvania has underfunded the Medicaid programs that allow participants to receive in-home care, despite the fact that this care is far more cost-effective than facility-based care. As a result, homecare agencies have been severely limited in their ability to provide competitive and commensurate wages for caregivers. Today, the average hourly wage for a direct care worker in Pennsylvania is just $13.40.

Homecare agencies are simply not able to compete in today’s job market, where many private employers can offer starting wages of $18/hour and more for far less demanding work. In order to begin to address the current workforce crisis, a substantial increase to the Medicaid reimbursement must be made in this year’s budget.

During the event, Senator Maria Collett (D-Montgomery) and Representative David Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) reaffirmed their commitment to champion initiatives that support and advance quality, in-home care in Pennsylvania.

“We look forward to working with Senator Collett and Representative Zimmerman, and all legislators to support access to quality in-home care to Pennsylvanians who need it,” said Teri Henning, Esq., CEO of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association. “We can no longer afford to underfund and underappreciate the critical value of these programs. Home is not only where individuals want to age and receive care, it is also cost-effective, with improved outcomes. Home care is win, win, win.”

It’s time to champion home care.

About PHA… The Pennsylvania Homecare Association is a statewide organization of nearly 700 home health, homecare and hospice providers. PHA members provide quality care and serve as advocates for their patients and clients on a variety of healthcare issues. PHA and its members work to improve professional standards and ensure access to quality homecare throughout the Commonwealth. To learn more, visit www.pahomecare.org.

 

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Philadelphia Home Care Agency PA

We used predictive analytics to improve patient care, reduce hospitalizations, and grow their census.

Discover how Deer Meadows, a mid-sized Philadelphia-based home health agency, used predictive analytics to improve patient care, reduce hospitalizations, and grow their census.

Read the case study >>

Home health agencies face many challenges as they grow and scale their business while striving to maintain high-quality care. In today’s rapidly changing home health landscape, Deer Meadows knew they needed to take on higher-acuity patients and build relationships with larger health systems to gain new referrals. But the team realized they couldn’t do this without the right data supporting their clinicians. They turned to WellSky CareInsights for Home Health, the industry’s most advanced predictive analytics solution for optimizing patient care.

After one year using WellSky CareInsights, Deer Meadows saw a:

·        22% reduction in hospitalizations

·        11.5% reduction in visit utilization

·        164% increase in patient census

As home health shifts rapidly toward value-based care, agencies need easily accessible data and actionable predictive insights to improve performance and drive growth. Read this new case study to learn how Deer Meadows achieved these improvements and how you can apply these strategies at your agency.

in home health care services philadelphia

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC Receives 2019 Best of Home Care®–Employer of Choice Award

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC Receives 2019 Best of Home Care®–Employer of Choice Award

Philadelphia – Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC announced today that it has received the 2019 Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. The Employer of Choice Award is granted only to the top-ranking home care providers, based on caregiver satisfaction scores gathered by Home Care Pulse, an independent satisfaction research firm for home care. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC is now ranked among the best employers of in-home caregivers in the region.

“We congratulate Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC on earning the Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice Award,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “Since this award is based on employee feedback, it shows the dedication Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLChas to providing their employees with a great working experience, while ensuring clients have well-trained, compassionate caregivers.”

Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice award-winning providers work with Home Care Pulse to gather feedback from their caregivers via live phone interviews each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent company, it is able to collect honest and unbiased feedback.

“Our goal at Home Care Pulse is to empower home care businesses to provide the best home care possible,” says Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse. “We are happy to recognize Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC as a Best of Home Care – Employer of Choice, and we celebrate their accomplishments in building a team of happy, qualified caregivers to care for their clients.”

To find out more about Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC’s commitment to excellence, please visit edwardk43.sg-host.com or call 215-624-6038.

About Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC

Founded in 2009, The Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services, LLC is a non-profit agency. The home health and support services will offer home support services to Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania. All home health care services are overseen by registered nurses. We can offer home support services and help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation, medication management, pet care, running errands, light housekeeping, and escort services.

About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse is the industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research and quality assurance. On behalf of home care businesses across North America, Home Care Pulse gathers unbiased satisfaction ratings from clients and caregivers and detailed feedback to ensure the best in-home care possible can be provided. Powerful online reports allow businesses to identify needs and take action to reduce increase satisfaction, reduce caregiver turnover, and address client needs. For more information, please call Home Care Pulse at (877) 307-8573 or visit homecarepulse.com.

Generalized Anxiety

Let’s Talk Generalized Anxiety

Most of us experience worry at one time or another, especially with big exams, business presentation, or first dates. However, Anxiety Disorders are different – they involve more than just temporary worry or fear. It’s pervasive and doesn’t go away. Anxiety starts interfering with mood and daily activities such as job performance, relationships with significant others and friends, school work. Anxiety often comes with other mental health “friends,” such as depression.There are several types of anxiety out there- Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, and phobias. Today, we’ll learn about Generalized Anxiety, a disorder that affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1 % of the total population.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) is excessive worry or anxiety, most days, about many different topics. Some things that people might worry over are disasters, health, money, family, work, and other issues. The difference between worry and with GAD is that it’s more intense, pervasive, and not limited to a set stressor for a limited amount of time. When suffering from GAD, it’s difficult to control your worry, and there are many triggers. A common component is that people have difficulty tolerating uncertainty and try to control or plan situations.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent worrying or anxiety about different things that are out of proportion to the actual event.
  • Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes.
  • Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they’re not.
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty.
  • Indecisiveness and fear or making the wrong choice
  • Inability to set aside or let go of worry.
  • Inability to relax, feeling restless, or feeling on edge.
  • Difficulty concentrating

Physical symptoms:

  • Feeling tired or trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Digestive Issues – nausea, diarrhea, Irritable bowel syndrome, vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased Heart Rate

You may have noticed that we included both emotional AND physical symptoms above. While mental health disorders are their own category, it’s essential to recognize that mental health influences physical health and vice versa.

Let us know if you have any questions by contacting us!

Nurses Aide Apprenticeship Program

New Registered Apprenticeship Program for Nurse Aides and Home Care Aides!

Friday, June 14, 2019 Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced a new registered apprenticeship program for nurse aides and home care aides with the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The apprenticeship will help meet growing demand for workers to provide care for seniors.Oleksiak toured the Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services facility and discussed the Wolf Administration’s commitment to helping Pennsylvanians become better prepared for in-demand careers. The governor’s Statewide Workforce Education and Accountability Program (SWEAP) proposal would provide an additional $10 million to expand access to education and training opportunities, apprenticeships and STEM careers to build on the success of PAsmart that launched last year.

Deer Meadows Home Health is pleased to be partnering with The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Holy Family University on an innovative apprenticeship program for nurse’s aides and advanced home health care aides. The goal is for the program is to become a job-generating program starting with entry level home health aides.Holy Family University will deliver the curriculum although training for nurses’s aides and advanced home health care aides was not part of their curriculum up until this point, “it fits with our competencies,” says Karen Galardi, EdD, MBA, Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies at Holy Family University. “We have nursing programs from the baccalaureate through doctorate levels. Assisting with this program is a natural fit.” Dr. Galardi also hopes to see the program expand in the future.

Stanley Rynkiewicz, RN, MSN, WCC, DWC, CCS, NHA, and Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, Administrator, is pleased to participate in the program as a way to give back to the community. He sees the program as an opportunity to help employees succeed. “In time, it will help people that want to stay employed and grow with the program,” he says. They hope to add an LPN track to the program in the coming years. “It’s great to work with partners like Holy Family University and the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Without partners, something like this would not happen,” he says.

Apprenticeship programs like this make advanced training obtainable and provides for those who are seeking training to enter the healthcare field. “The program with the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is great because it’s a non-traditional sponsor, Holy Family University is a non-traditional trainer, and Deer Meadows is a non-traditional employer,” says James Chiarchiaro a workforce intermediary with the Keystone Development Partnership. “Programs like this can provide opportunities for women, minorities, non-English speaking individuals, and members of the LGBT community, among others.” He hopes to see the program grown into other occupations, such as information technology, that will help provide the training needs for a 21st Century workforce.

Funding for this type of program can be provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor & Industry, Philly Works and local Career Link.

Registered Apprenticeship Program
Registered Apprenticeship Program

We are now Home Care Pulse Certified – Trusted Provider Distinction

Philadelphia, PA – Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC today announced that it has received the Certified – Trusted Provider distinction from Home Care Pulse. This distinction illustrates DMHHSS’s commitment to client satisfaction.

“We want to commend Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC for receiving the Certified – Trusted Provider distinction,” says Aaron Marcum. “Home Care Pulse awards this distinction to providers who are actively gathering feedback from their clients each month and using that feedback to improve the quality of care they provide. By choosing a Certified – Trusted Provider to care for their loved ones, families can be reassured that their provider is dedicated to quality in home care.”

Certified – Trusted Providers have contracted with Home Care Pulse to gather and report feedback from their clients by conducting live random phone interviews with a percentage of their clients each month. Because Home Care Pulse is an independent third-party company, they are able to collect honest and unbiased feedback, without outside influence. Clients rate their provider’s services in areas such as timeliness of caregivers, services being provided as promised, compassion of caregivers and overall quality of care. Clients are also given the opportunity to provide feedback for their provider.

“I am very proud of our accomplishments over the years.These accomplishments would not be possible without the exceptional support staff we have in the field and the feedback from our clients,” says Kate Liggins, Private Duty Manager at DMHHSS.”These relationships have been instrumental in DMHHSS’s ability to continue to provide 5-star quality care to the community.”

“Our goal at Home Care Pulse is to empower home care businesses to reach their goals and deliver the best home care possible,” says Aaron Marcum, CEO and founder of Home Care Pulse. “We are happy to recognize Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC as a Certified – Trusted Provider, and we applaud their commitment to client satisfaction.”

To find out more about the Home Care Pulse Certification, please visit BestofHomeCare.com.

About Home Care Pulse

Home Care Pulse is the industry’s leading firm in performance benchmarking and quality satisfaction management and serves hundreds of home care businesses across North America. They are the industry’s top resource for education, business development, certification, and proof of quality, including the prestigious Best of Home Care® awards. Visit www.homecarepulse.com to learn more about our VANTAGE program, or visit benchmarking.homecarepulse.com to learn about the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, the home care industry’s largest and most comprehensive annual study, featuring benchmarks on finance, sales, marketing, operations, and more.

About Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC

DMHHSS is a non-profit agency. The home health and support services will offer home support services to Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania. All home health care services are overseen by registered nurses. We can offer home support services and help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation, medication management, pet care, running errands, light housekeeping, and escort services.The Mission of Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services, LLC is to provide superior quality home health services that optimize the persons served ability to maximize their independence, health and wellness in their home. DMHHSS was found in July 2009.

Dementia and Delusions/Hallucinations

Dementia takes an immense emotional toll on caregivers and it can be really hard to cope with. It’s important to remember that dementia is a symptom of a disease, not the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Dementia is “a broad category of brain diseases that cause long-term and often gradual decreases in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning”.

One of the symptoms of dementia is delusions. In a nutshell, a delusion is a belief that may be bizarre, weird, or untrue that is fixed – no amount of evidence will change the belief. Delusions are unfortunately common in dementia, with about 1/3 of patients having them. It’s heart-breaking to see someone we love experience this. Some common delusions can be that someone/something is spying on the sufferer, moving things around, stealing their items, or that a loved one is having an affair.

Delusions can be scary-not only to the caregiver but also to the sufferer. The important thing to note is that it’s not done on purpose. It feels very real to the patient. Because it’s not rational, arguing or trying to convince the sufferer that it’s untrue will not help. In fact, it might make things worse. The sufferer might get defensive and it might even fuel their false beliefs. We have to remember that the person with dementia is trying to understand their world and environment, while also having decreased cognitive function.

You can respond in a few different ways:

  1. Reassure and comfort the person. Respond to their emotions, not their words. For example, if they are scared someone is breaking into their home, maybe say “That must be really scary to think that. I’ll keep you safe.”
  2. Don’t take it personally. Listen to their emotions and try to understand their reality. Validate their feelings and let them know you care.
  3. Don’t try to convince the person that their delusion is false. Respond to the feeling that it evokes.
  4. Use as few words as possible. You don’t want to overwhelm or confuse the person.
  5. Distract. Engage the individual in another activity or ask them to help with a chore. Maybe offer a snack, watch a TV show together, or make a puzzle.
  6. Take care of yourself. It’s important that you don’t experience caregiver burnout. Read more about why burnout matters and how to prevent it here. https://edwardk43.sg-host.com/our-blog/taking-care-of-caregivers-social-workers-point-of-view

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services Awarded CHAP Accreditation

Philadelphia, PA — 2/26/19 — Community Health Accreditation Partner, Inc., (CHAP) announced today that Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC., (DMHHSS) has been awarded CHAP Accreditation under the CHAP for Private Duty and Home Health Standards of Excellence. DMHHSS had a survey with no required action.

CHAP Accreditation demonstrates that DMHHSS meets the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards. The rigorous evaluation by CHAP focuses on structure and function, quality of services and products, human and financial resources and long-term viability. Adherence to CHAP’s standards leads to better quality care and better business performance.

“By achieving CHAP Accreditation, DMHHSS has shown a commitment to excellence,” said Barbara McCann, CHAP President and CEO. “We are excited to continue our partnership with DMHHSS by offering support in its commitment to providing quality care and continuous improvement.”

DMHHSS provides a variety of private duty and home health services to patients and their families in Philadelphia and surrounding areas (Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania). Registered nurses oversee all home health care services. DMHHSS can offer home health (nurses, therapist, and aides through Medicare or commercial insurance intermittently) and private duty support services (help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation and medication management). On 1/23/19, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Home Health compare website updated its quarterly data. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC (DMHHSS) is rated 5 Stars again. For more information about the DMHHSS, please visit the DMHHSS website at edwardk43.sg-host.com. For additional information, call our office support staff at 215-624-6038.

CHAP is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body for home and community-based health care organizations. Created in 1965, CHAP was the first to recognize the need and value for accreditation in home and community-based care with more than 9,000 agencies currently accredited nationwide. Through “deeming” authority granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CHAP is a nationally approved accrediting organization who retains authority to survey agencies providing home health, hospice, pharmacy, infusion therapy nursing and home medical equipment services, to determine if they meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation and CMS Quality Standards. CHAP’s mission is to define, verify, and advance the highest quality of home and community-based care through its standards, accreditation, education, and research.

For more information about the CHAP accreditation process, please visit the CHAP website at www.chapinc.org. For additional information, email info@chapinc.org or call 202-862-3413.

For additional information, contact Stanley Rynkiewicz, DMHHSS Administrator at 215-624-6038.

Do You Have the Warning Signs of Depression?

The national average rate of depression is 6.7 % in a given year. In home care, 1 in 7 patients meet full diagnostic criteria for depression and 1 in 3 suffer from significant clinical depression. Because depression can affect treatment outcomes, it is imperative to address any symptoms of depression. Depression doesn’t just affect our mood but also gives physical and behavioral symptoms.

There are three “classes” of symptoms to look for:

Emotional or Cognitive: depressed mood, lack of interest or motivation in things you enjoy, having problems making decisions, difficulties focusing, memory problems, excessive guilt, and flat mood.

Behavioral: crying uncontrollably, angry outbursts, withdrawing from others, becoming a workaholic, abusing alcohol or drugs, cutting, attempting suicide.

Physical: sleep difficulties (too much/too little, problems staying asleep), weight loss/weight gain, aches and pains, heart palpitations, burning or tingling.

Some people experience only behavioral symptoms or a mix between the different classes of symptoms. Clinically, symptoms have to be present for at least 2 weeks. Symptoms can vary depending on the person and the severity of their illness and are not the same for everyone. There is a stigma that people who have depression should just ‘get over it’ or are just ‘being lazy’. Nothing could be further from the truth – there are very real physiological changes that happen in the brain that can create these symptoms.

Depression modifies our brain structure by releasing excessive amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol changes our brain structure, leading to some of the symptoms we’re familiar with in depression. Excessive cortisol ‘shrinks’ our prefrontal cortex (the structure that allows us to critically think and focus). It also causes our memory center (the hippocampus) to shrink. People who are diagnosed with depression also have a larger amygdala (the part of the brain that controls our emotions such as fear or pleasure). That results in disturbances in sleep and emotion.

Depression in the elderly looks a little different than it does for younger people. Elderly patients often experience tiredness, trouble sleeping, and irritability when they suffer through depression. It also is more dangerous. There is a very real link between our physical health and our mental health. Depression is associated with an increased risk of cardiac disease and increased risk of death from illness. Studies show that some people become depressed after experiencing a heart attack or developing heart failure. And those with depression develop heart disease at a higher rate than the general population. Furthermore, people with depression often have a harder time rehabilitating and therefore have a higher risk of dying.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, please talk to your primary care physician – they can refer you to get the help you need. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Andreea Socoloschi, MSW LCSW

Weekend Referral Program

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services is the only home health care agency in the Philadelphia region that guarantees a 24 hour response time for patient admission referrals.”Physician practices, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals find it incredibly difficult to find a home care agency that is readily available to accept their patient referrals on a weekend”, says Marketing Coordinator Shawn P. Hanshew. “We are always available by our cell phones and we have a dedicated e-fax line in place to accept weekend referrals. The physician, skilled nursing facility or hospital can send their referral to our e-fax, and the referral information will go directly to our on-call clinical and administration team. From there, an assessment nurse will call the patient or patient’s family to schedule the start of care the very next day.” says Hanshew. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services is the only five star rated home health care agency in Philadelphia and is the home health care agency of choice within the medical community because of our guaranteed 24 hour start of care- even on a weekend!

If you have a weekend referral or would like more details of this program, please contact our Marketing Coordinator Shawn Hanshew at (267) 648-0361 and shanshew@deermeadowshomehealth.org. Our weekend referral e-fax number is (484) 361-4619.

Written By  Shawn Hanshew

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Contact Us

8301 Roosevelt Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19152
Phone: (215) 624-6038
Fax: (215) 624-6258
EFax: (484) 361-4619