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Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, awarded CHAP Accreditation

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — 3/14/16— Community Health Accreditation Partner, Inc., (CHAP) announced today that Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, has been awarded CHAP Accreditation under the CHAP Core, Private Duty and Home Health Standards of Excellence.

CHAP Accreditation demonstrates that Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, 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. Simply stated, adherence to CHAP’s standards leads to better quality care.

“By achieving CHAP Accreditation, Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, has shown a commitment to excellence,” said Karen Collishaw, CHAP President & CEO. “This is the 7th year Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, has achieved CHAP Accreditation, and we are excited to continue our partnership by offering support in its commitment to providing quality care and continuous improvement.” 

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, provides a variety of Private Duty (Personal Care Support) and Certified Home Health services to patients and their families in the greater Philadelphia Region (including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania). Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services, LLC in Philadelphia has earned 5 stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through a new rating system for home health care providers. Only 7 agencies in Pennsylvania achieved this rating. The Home Health Star Ratings, which are updated quarterly, offer a 1-star to 5-star rating based on a home health agency’s performance on nine quality measures, like whether patients received flu shots, how their pain is managed and if they are able to stay out of the hospital.

CHAP is an independent, not-for-profit, accrediting body for community-based health care organizations. Created in 1965, CHAP was the first to recognize the need and value for accreditation in community-based care. CHAP is the oldest national, community-based accrediting body with more than 9,000 agencies currently accredited nationwide. Through “deeming authority” granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CHAP has the regulatory authority to survey agencies providing home health, hospice and home medical equipment services, to determine if they meet the Medicare Conditions of Participation and CMS Quality Standards. CHAP’s purpose is to define and advance the highest standards of community-based care. 

For additional information, contact Stanley Rynkiewicz, Deer Meadows Home Health and Supports’ Administrator at 215.624.6038 and check out our website edwardk43.sg-host.com.

Medicare Stars Aim to Help Consumers Find Quality Home Health

When it comes to selecting a home health care agency, nurse Susan Sellechia, 34, says what matters most are compassion, education, and a drive to keep patients out of the hospital.

Her patient at Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, Joan Hutchins, 84, who was treated for ulcers on her legs, agrees.

“The nurses here have been very patient with me,” said Hutchins. “I couldn’t get any better care.

In July, Medicare instituted a five-star rating system to help consumers compare and select agencies.

Out of 9,000 agencies nationwide, only 239 received five stars, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. Deer Meadows, in Northeast Philadelphia, was one of just eight agencies in Pennsylvania to receive the highest rating in the first quarter they were issued.

Home health care provides at-home services to people coming out of a hospital or a rehab facility who are entitled as part of their Medicare benefits to physical, occupational, or speech therapy at home.

Nationally, 3.4 million Medicare beneficiaries received home health services in 2014. Annually, Medicare spends about $18 billion on the home health care benefit.

To Stanley Rynkiewicz, administrator of Deer Meadows, the success of his agency comes down to a simple slogan: “Knowledge is power.”

“Our staff likes to help people and likes to be educated,” he said of his team, which works both at the Deer Park nursing facility and in clients’ homes in the greater Philadelphia area.

He points out that they have seven wound-care specialists on staff, and ongoing certification training three or four times a year.

The Medicare ratings are based on nine criteria, ranging from how patients progress in care to immunization records and how soon patients receive care. At the end of the month, patient ratings will also be ranked and made available online.

To check out a particular agency, or to compare agencies, go to: www.medicare.gov/homehealthcompare. The site includes tips to help you find the right agency for your needs. Medicare has a similar rating system for nursing homes.

Locating the number of stars an agency received, however, can be tricky. From the home page, you can enter a specific agency or pick three in your area to compare. After hitting the search button, you’ll reach a page with information about what services each agency offers. To find the star ratings, click “Quality of Care Information” – the middle tab – and scroll down.

Deer Meadows is currently rated 4.5 stars, having dropped a notch in the second quarterly round, released in October. Ratings are set on a curve, so changes reflect a facility’s own performance as well as how it compares with others.

The next update will be posted Thursday.

Doris Peter, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, has said the ratings are helpful but not ideal. Some of the data are self-reported by the agencies, and most agencies earn at least 3 stars.

“If you compare three providers at a time, you aren’t likely to find a high or low performer,” Peter told consumerreports.org. Rynkiewicz says the most important criterion in the ratings system is an objective measure: that home health care is delivered in a timely manner, no more than 24 to 48 hours after referral.

“Our goal is to improve people back to their former level of functioning,” he said. “A fast response maximizes and reduces readmission to the hospital.

“It’s like a one-two punch: The faster you’re there, the more quickly you can calm someone down, reduce stress, and provide help as soon as possible.

” Not surprisingly, Rynkiewicz is a fan of the Medicare star system. Others say it’s more complicated.

“The most important piece for consumers to understand is that star ratings for home health agencies are not like a hotel or restaurant star rating, where only four and five stars are good quality,” said Jennifer Haggerty of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association.

“More than half of all home health agencies across the country fall in the middle, with 3 or 3.5 stars,” said Haggerty. “Pennsylvania agencies continue to outperform others, scoring an average rating of 3.5 stars, higher than the national 3-star average.”

Haggerty sees the ratings as giving lower-performing agencies something to strive for, particularly if reimbursement schedules are tied to performance in the future.

Joyce Gray, an aging-life-care professional in Philadelphia, thinks consumers should consider the star ratings.

“But what really matters is who walks into your home, their attitude, and how they get along with you,” she said.

“You’re often accessing care when you’re quite sick and not interested in doing research.”

Rynkiewicz also emphasizes that consumers should do their homework and not just accept a hospital recommendation.

“You have to remember that you have a choice,” he said. “When you’re in the hospital, they may say that because you’re in my health system you should pick my agency. But choice is key – they’re supposed to give people options to choose different agencies in the area.”

Due to an earlier Medicare reform, hospitals have been penalized if patients are readmitted too soon after leaving the hospital, giving hospitals a major incentive to ensure that patients get proper care at home. Rynkiewicz said that since receiving the five-star rating, he had seen an uptick in referrals from hospitals to his agency.

“The most important thing is the need to treat people like human beings, not like a disease or a sickness,” Rynkiewicz said. “And that’s what we try to do.”

2015 OCS Home Care Elite Announced

A total of 76 agencies, more than 13% of Pennsylvania’s 553 home health agencies, were named to the 2015 Home Care Elite, a compilation of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States developed by OCS Home Care by National Research Corporation.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Home Care Elite identifies the top 25% of Medicare-certified home health agencies and highlights the top 100 and 500 agencies overall. The list of Home Care Elite agencies is ranked by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, process measure implementation and financial performance.

Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices (process measure) implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency and financial performance. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least one outcome in Home Health Compare.

Community Collaboration

Deer Meadows Home Health Care (DMHH), led by Administrator, Stanley Rynkiewicz, has been instrumental in ensuring a collaboration with District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund. Initially, the original interest was to hire quality nurse aides for home-based clientele; however, the partnership has grown to DMHH hiring over 6 PYN Youth Nurse Aide student graduates, active participation in 1199C job fairs, and participation in industry partnership discussions. In addition, DMHH hosted 2 summer work-ready interns and successfully engaged them in healthcare administrative work over the course of six weeks.

Staff at DMHH has been instrumental in the transitioning of youth to employment, and one administrative assistant, Kate Liggins, has been key in this process. Ms. Liggins has conducted several interviews with PYN students, and for those that land a coveted position, she ensures proper orientation and training needed. For those that aren’t the right fit, she offers helpful feedback and tips for them to consider when moving forward.

The 1199C Job Developer has communicated with students now working at DMHH and they affectionately refer to Kate as “their second mom.”

This year we intend to continue to develop our partnership with DMHH through continued job placements, participation in employer panels, and tours of their nursing facility, and job shadowing opportunities for our PYN Nurse Aide students.

Medicare Star-System Comes to Home Health

Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer

Choosing a home health agency to care for your ailing mother or grandfather can be a challenge.

To ease that task, Medicare has begun issuing ratings – from one to five stars – to home health agencies based on quality of patient care. Nearly half of the 9,000 Medicare-certified home health agencies nationwide got average scores (three or 3.5 stars). The quick summaries are based on far more detailed information the government has long collected and posts in searchable form at www.medicare.gov.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania each had among the highest proportions of agencies with above-average ratings and the lowest that were below average. Still, only one agency in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties was rated better than average. In Pennsylvania’s four southeastern counties, 27 were.

But the markets are very different. There were 48 Medicare-certified agencies in all of New Jersey, including just seven in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties. Pennsylvania had 419 statewide, with 132 in the four southeastern counties. And New Jersey agencies had fewer outliers on either end – no place got the top rating of five stars, and none received less than 2.5.

On the other hand, the government was able to rate all but 4 percent of the New Jersey facilities. In Pennsylvania, 34 percent went unrated because the number of patient interactions was too small to report, the provider did not give data, or the locations had been certified for less than six months. Even more lacked ratings in the southeast region.

Though the overall stars may help quickly narrow down agencies to consider, the meat is in the details – and these are presented in easy-to-understand formats on the website. It shows how each agency did on 29 quality measures – how often the home health team began patients’ care in a timely manner, for example, and how often patients got better at walking or moving around – along with statewide and national comparisons.

Nine of those quality-of-care measures are used to calculate the overall star rating. Listed on the site but not included in the overall rating are patient survey results. By contrast, Medicare in the spring released star ratings of hospitals that were based entirely on patient surveys, generating controversy over whether they were meaningful.

Here are how home health agencies came out locally:

Southeastern Pennsylvania – Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties:

  • Total agencies: 132
  • Above average: 27

South Jersey – Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties:

  • Total agencies: 7
  • Above average: 1

BEST (4 stars) – Kennedy University Hospital Inc. Home Health Care, Voorhees

BEST (5 stars) – Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services L.L.C., Philadelphia; Expert Home Care, Feasterville; Gem Home Care Inc., Huntingdon Valley; Reliant Home Health Agency Inc., Folsom; Tri County Home Health, Pottstown

We Achieve 5-STAR Quality Rating from Home Health Compare!

Dear Stanley,

I want to personally congratulate Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC for achieving a 5-star quality rating on Home Health Compare. We at the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA) commend your ongoing commitment to providing excellent quality care, as is evidenced from your jump from 4 stars to 5 stars in the last quarter, and are honored to represent you.

Also included in the latest star ratings are the Home Health Patient Experience of Care Star Ratings, which summarize your agency’s performance in five areas of patient satisfaction. As you know, word-of-mouth referrals can have a positive impact on the success of your agency, and you have proven your commitment to the patient experience. This commitment has once again earned your agency a spot in the top 2.5% of home health agencies in Pennsylvania. As a comparison, below is a table showing how your peers performed this quarter.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in your efforts to bring care home!

Sincerely,

Vicki Hoak, CEO

Developing a Successful Program for Wound Care in the Home

Article appears in Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Wound Care Advisor, the Official Journal of the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy

By Stanley A. Rynkiewicz III, MSN, RN, WCC, DWC, CCS

Developing a successful wound care program requires a strong commitment and a willingness to learn. Our experience with creating such a program at Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC (DMHHSS), a nonprofit home-care facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, may help others build a similar wound care program and reap the rewards of a more confident staff as well as improved patient outcomes.

Filling a Need

I’m the administrator at DMHHSS, which is accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program. Since its inception in 2009, our organization has provided quality home health services to more than 2,500 patients in our service area, and DMHHSS continues to grow.

After the organization was up and running, it didn’t take us long to recognize we needed more expertise in the area of wound care to meet our goal of quality care and positive patient outcomes. Wound care in the home differs dramatically from wound care in a hospital setting and presents its own challenges. Many of our patients have chronic comorbidities, such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, and present with chronic wounds or open sores that don’t heal easily. Most of our patients live alone or have a caregiver who’s unable or unwilling to change dressings. Consequently, wounds take longer to heal and the patient’s quality of life is diminished.

With these patient facts in hand, my clinical director, Irene Dudley, BSN, RN, OMS, WCC, and I decided that DMHHSS would initiate a wound care program to ensure comprehensive, consistent, and dependable quality care for our patients.

Deepening Knowledge

Our first goal was to educate our clinical staff in all aspects of wound care, including state-of-the-art products and evidence-based protocols, which would help clinicians determine appropriate supplies necessary for care and calculate the frequency of visits.

Certification in wound care is a natural outgrowth of our clinical staff education and an essential component of our wound care program. (See About certification.) Certification helps our nurses demonstrate their interest and knowledge in a specialized area of patient care. Our wound care certified nurses report a sense of personal satisfaction, pride, and confidence in their ability to manage complicated wounds. In addition, these professionals also earn the respect of their employers, colleagues, physicians, and patients. Wound certification has strengthened our team.

Wound Care Program in Action

Once wound care education had been completed, we created a system that promotes consistent, quality care. Patients admitted to the DMHHSS wound care program are assigned a primary nurse who makes regular visits to the patients’ homes. While treating and monitoring a patient’s wound, DMHHSS staff also teach patients and caregivers about best practices to help improve would healing, including nutritional needs, environmental hazards, and cleanliness. Our clinical staff, along with the management team, regularly reviews the plan of care to ensure that patients’ needs are being met. DMHHSS staff also works closely with the physicians and keep them informed on the patients’ wound-healing progress.

Since the initiation of the wound care program at DMHHSS, we have earned the respect and trust of the physicians, and our census growth has improved by more than 300%. Our clinical staff now has a strong and trusting relationship with the physicians, who welcome the input of our knowledgeable and certified staff. Frequently, the physician will consult the WCC nurse to determine the best practice regarding a patient. Wound healing is promoted when all caregivers focus on the same goals and communicate changes in a timely manner.

Community Outreach

In addition to the overall program at DMHHSS, my certification in wound care inspired me to create a free diabetic foot-screening clinic in Philadelphia. My goal was to create a reproducible clinic model that could be run on a low budget, funded by sponsorships from business partners. It took hard work, careful planning, and thorough preparation to make this clinic a reality, starting with a team of volunteer professionals and other personnel who helped with ensuring due diligence, setting up the clinic, creating advertisements and forms for the clinic, procuring sponsors, finding additional volunteers, and assembling educational packets.

DMHHSS held two one-day clinics in 2013, one at Reba Brown Senior Residence in Southwest Philadelphia from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the other at Deer Meadows Retirement Community in Northeast Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We advertised the clinics on our website and Facebook page and through community e-mail blasts, press releases to several newspapers and radio stations, and event flyers distributed throughout the Philadelphia area. Staff at each event included administrative staff that greeted people and helped them with registration and moving through the process, volunteer nurses, WCC- and DWC-certified clinicians, and a podiatrist. All registration forms, including consent for screening, were collected and maintained by DMHHSS. I continued to expand upon this outreach project in 2014, refining my diabetic foot-screening clinic model. This year, DMHHSS held its second annual clinic at Reba Brown Senior Residence. We plan to continue to offer the clinic annually, and introduce the concept in other areas in Philadelphia.

To date, these successful diabetic foot-screening clinics have drawn nearly 280 Philadelphians, ranging in age from 35 to 85. The appreciation of the participants was heartfelt and evidenced by the thankful looks on their faces. We were able to provide participants in need with follow-up visits by local visiting podiatrists, which will ensure continuing foot care to those who, in the past, were at risk.

A Sense of Pride

We market DMHHSS as a facility with wound care certified clinicians, which distinguishes us from other home health providers. This strategy has yielded new referral sources and new relationships with physicians and wound care centers. Our entire staff feels a sense of pride in all we have accomplished. They are proud to be part of our future as we continue to learn and grow our expertise in home health care.

New Technology Aims to Keeps Local Seniors Independent Longer

Philadelphia, PA – Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC announced today that they are partnering with Clear Care to implement new technology that aims to help local seniors live independently as long as possible. The comprehensive homecare system utilizes I Pads /tablets, smartphones, and the latest software technology to connect professional home care providers with everyone else involved in a client’s care (including seniors themselves and their family members).

“I’m in this business because I believe that seniors should have quality companionship and care,” says Stanley Rynkiewicz, the Administrator of Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC. “That’s also the reason I decided to implement Clear Care’s technology. Not only does it make our services more efficient and transparent, it allows us to keep families involved and informed in real time, which is a big priority for me.”

Using Clear Care, the agency’s team of trained caregivers can access their schedules, clock in and out, and report instantly on the status of the client’s care from the home, from a designated smart phone or tablet (such as an I Pad), or from the client’s home phone. In addition, clients’ families can log in to the Clear Care portal to find out what is happening in the home in real-time.

Stanley Rynkiewicz says, “The Clear Care solution automates our back-office tasks, which means we will have more time to focus on bringing quality home care to more seniors in our community.”

For more information about Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC visit edwardk43.sg-host.com or contact Stanley Rynkiewicz at (215)624-6038. To learn more about Clear Care, please call 800-449-0645. Information about Clear Care is also available at www.clearcareonline.com.

Clear Care is a San Francisco-based company that offers the world’s first front and back office solution for the home care industry. Clear Care makes the business of home care administration intuitive, efficient, and paper-free. Clear Care’s web technology helps home care agencies provide high-quality home care to seniors who want to live independently for as long as possible.

Your Feet Could Be at Risk! Diabetic Foot Screening

Your Feet Could Be at Risk! FREE Diabetic Foot Screening Clinic Everyone Welcome! WHEN: Saturday May 17, 2014 8:30am – 12:00pm.WHERE: Reba Brown Senior Residence, 1450 South 50th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143.

Did you know that if you are diabetic, you should get your feet checked at least once a year?


A great turnout of people stopped by our free Diabetic Foot Screening Clinic to assess the risk of their feet. The clinic was staffed with nurses who are trained in wound & diabetic care.

We also checked blood sugar and provided everyone with educational advice, recommendations for proper foot care and resources for the community to take home. Of course we answered many questions residents had.

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services’ 2nd annual Diabetic Foot Clinic at Reba Brown was a huge success. We had a great turnout with people from the community and Residents from Reba Brown attending the foot clinic. We are very thankful to all of our volunteers and our sponsors National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, OSNovation, Smith&Nephew, Life Choice Hospice, Select Data, WCEI, Always Best Care, Superior Printing and Engraving and McKesson Medical. We look forward to serving our healthcare community in the future.

Brought to you by:
National Alliance of Wound Care & Ostomy, OS Novation, Smith & Nephew, Life Choice, Select Data, Wound Care Educational Institute, Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services.

Top 10 Reasons to Refer to a Home Health Provider

A referral to a home health provider should be considered if any of the following conditions are present and assuming the patient will have any difficulty safely leaving the home or it requires a taxing effort on the part of the patient or their family.

  1. Patient has a new diagnosis or an exacerbation of an existing chronic condition.
  2. Patient is at risk for falling due to balance, weakness, caregiver deficits, home safety concernsor new assistive devices.
  3. Patient has new or >3 prescription medications prescribed and has deficits that may impact medication compliance.
  4. Patient has no/limited/inadequate caregiver support necessary to realize consistent and safe, stablization at home.
  5. Patient needs education/assistance with wound care, disease process or associated signs and symptoms.
  6. Patient would benefit from in-home rehab to restore strength and balance for ADLs such as bathing, ambulating, transfering.
  7. Patient has or is at risk for unstable vital signs and would benefit from daily monitoring for some time.
  8. Patient is at risk for readmission in the weeks after discharge for any reason.
  9. Patient has some pain that might interfere with their activity at home.
  10. Patient has cognitive deficits/dementia that may impact medication compliance, depression, socialization.

Featured Session Speakers at Wild on Wounds National Conference

Stanley A. Rynkiewicz III RN MSN WCC® DWC® CCS, Administrator at Deer Meadows Home Health, was inspired to coordinate a one day Wound Care Clinic in his home town of Philadelphia.  The event took place on May 11, 2013 with staff that included volunteer nurses, Wound Care Certified (WCC®) and Diabetic Wound Certified (DWC®) clinicians and co-sponsor Dr. John M. Fanelly DPM, a local podiatrist.

The clinic was a huge success as close to 100 Philadelphians came from all over the community, ranging in age from 35-85 years. The knowledgeable staff were a welcome sight to those attending and the appreciation could be seen on their faces. Since the event went so well, another DWC foot clinic event was coordinated on August 10, 2013.

Since Deer Meadows Home Health partnered with theWound Care Education Institutefor both of these events this year, Mr Rynkiewicz andIrene DudleyRN BSN CCS OMS, Clinical Director of Deer Meadows, shared their experiences in detail at this year’sWild on WoundsNational Conferencein Las Vegas, September 11-14, 2013.

In a session called Paying It Forward, the other professional attendees were shown how they can help their community. The hope was to inspire more clinicians to coordinate these clinics in their own communities across the country.Below are some photos from WOW: