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Hospice Savings
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 3/31/2013 12:39 PM

A new study in Health Affairs finds that hospice saves Medicare money and reduces hospital and ICU stays near the end of life. The researchers looked at several lengths of stay (days and weeks) as well as patients who stayed about two to three months (53 to 105 days.) It didn't look at the very long stays that had been in the spotlight as potentially inappropriate, particularly in for-profit settings. But the authors note that efforts to curtail hospice spending and length of stay "may be misguided." Instead of working to reduce Medicare hospice spending and creating a regulatory environment that discourages continued growth in hospice enrollment, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should focus on ensuring that patients' preferences are elicited earlier in the course of their diseases and that those who want hospice care receive timely referral.

As Nurse Lay Dying, Offering Herself as Instruction in Caring
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 3/31/2013 12:39 PM

The New York Times

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — It was early November when Martha Keochareon called the nursing school at Holyoke Community College, her alma mater. She had a proposal, which she laid out in a voice mail message.

“I have cancer,” she said after introducing herself, “and I’m wondering if you’ll need somebody to do a case study on, a hospice patient.”

Perhaps some nursing students “just want to feel what a tumor feels like,” she went on. Or they could learn something about hospice care, which aims to help terminally ill people die comfortably at home.

“Maybe you’ll have some ambitious student that wants to do a project,” Ms. Keochareon (pronounced CATCH-uron) said after leaving her phone number. “Thank you. Bye.”

Kelly Kean ...


When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 3/31/2013 12:33 PM

By JANE E. BRODY 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018
Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

When my husband learned he had advanced lung cancer, he didn’t even want to speak to an oncologist about chemotherapy. He saw no point in treatment that could not cure him and might make him feel worse.

Not so, though, for a majority of patients diagnosed with cancers of the lung or colon that have spread well beyond their original site and are currently not curable by any drugs in the medical armamentarium. Most patients with these so-called stage 4 cancers who choose to undergo chemotherapy seem to believe, incorrectly, that the drugs could render them cancer-free.

That is the finding of a recent national study of nearly 1,200 patients with advanced cancers of the lung or colon. Overall, 69 percent of those with stage 4 lung cancer and 81 percent of those with stage 4 colon cancer failed to underst ...


On the Way to Hospice, Surprising Hurdles
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 3/31/2013 12:27 PM

By PAULA SPAN 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018
Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

I’ve often wondered why more families don’t call hospice when a loved one has a terminal disease — and why people who do call wait so long, often until death is just days away.

Even though more than 40 percent of American deaths now involve hospice care, many families still are trying to shoulder the burden on their own rather than turning to a proven source of help and knowledge. I’ve surmised that the reason is families’ or patients’ unwillingness to acknowledge the prospect of death, or physicians’ inability to say the h-word and refer dying patients to hospice care.

But maybe there’s another reason. A study in the journal Health Affairs recently pointed out that hospices themselves may be turning away patients because of certain ...


Elderly With Diabetes Can Benefit from Exercise
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 5/20/2010 11:09 AM
Exercise can bring new life to diabetics. It is crucial in keeping sugar levels in balance, but a doctor’s check up is first on the list for any age diabetic before beginning an exercise routine. Begin slowly and build up your routine to a more rigorous one or a longer time. Just do it, but don’t over do it.

Long Term Care in Health Care Reform Bills
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 2/19/2010 9:59 AM
Providing affordable, high-quality long-term care to the elderly and disabled continues to present huge challenges to policymakers. Home health care has been a great option for many of our elderly who are home-bound. Some seniors are able to receive home care through Medicare, but it is often for a specific medical problem and only for limited amounts of time. Others can get home health aides if ... [continued]

An Aging Population And Increasing Hospital Costs Lead More People to In Home Health Care
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 9/30/2009 2:08 PM
As the population ages, and hospitals cut back on their stays, more people will be looking to home health care as an alternative. Did you know that home care is approximately two-thirds of the cost of hospital or nursing home care? The pace ... (continued)

AT Home Care’s Carol Elrod Ready To Take On Capitol Hill
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 9/25/2009 7:18 PM
Carol Elrod, AT Home Care’s Director of Continuing Quality Improvement, returned from the VAHC leadership conference in Staunton, ready to take on Capitol Hill. The focus of the meetings were how to meet the increased government demands on home health agencies which threaten reimbursement for services ... (continued)

Private Care Division Opens up on Monument Avenue
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 9/25/2009 5:48 PM
Lauren Boykin and Mary Squares have moved the Private Staffing division of AT Home Care to 3900 Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. Their business has grown over the last year to include over 50 employees and is active in Charlottesville, Tri-Cities and Richmond. Certified Nursing Assistants and Companions are available for long or short term stays. “With all the foot traffic coming in and out of the office, it makes sense to establish our own offices,” says Lauren. “We are really happy with the space and enjoy our new views out onto Monument Avenue.” They may be reached at 804 358-0631, or call your AT Home Care office in Charlottesville or Tri- Cities to arrange for care. Good luck ladies!

CEO Models Google’s Philosophy
The AT Home Care Blog By host on 9/25/2009 5:47 PM
Environmentalism, philanthropy and positive employee relations are the cornerstone principles of AT Home Care (ATHC) that CEO Ed Kassab shares with Google chief Eric Schmidt. Keeping current on the latest innovations in health care, communications technology and forging a connection with the greater community are all important goals for Kassab ... (continued)

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