Private Duty Conference Highlights: Notes About the New Accreditation Program
February 10, 2016 02:00 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) held its 2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 1-2, 2016, and NAHC Report will be providing coverage of some of the highlights from the conference
On February 1, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and the Private Duty Homecare Association of America held the Private Duty Home Care Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.
Pat Drea, Chief Operations Officer for one of the nation’s largest home care franchises, Visiting Angels, kicked off the session talking about the importance and purpose of accreditation. Accreditation serves to protect consumers, communities, and payers by ensuring safe, competent and accountable care from an organization that maintains a certain level of integrity, she said. Ms. Drea’s vision of home care reaching its full potential stems from her extensive experience in the private duty home care industry, which spans 23 years. Consumers always look for distinguishing certifications, whether it’s with universities and other educational institutions, home appliances, or cars, and it follows that they look for distinguished standing in the custodians of loved ones, too. Ms. Drea believes agencies should strive to achieve the highest licensing standards because it benefits the clients, the staff, and the agency’s reputation, and the industry as a whole.
Brittnei Salerno, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of La Jolla Nurses Homecare, a tenured agency in the San Diego community, detailed the steps of the accreditation process. Ms. Salerno’s presentation dispelled any notion that an accreditation process might be intimidating. She patiently explained the 11 standards by which agencies are evaluated, which include governance, fiscal management, community education and outreach, safety, and business ethics. She encouraged the session’s attendees to think critically about their agency operations with questions like, “What are you doing to make sure there is no fraud in your company?,” and she stressed the importance of safety and risk management, warning about “the truth in advertising.” Ms. Salerno also encouraged continual support of clients’ rights, but urged agency management to think about what they hold clients responsible for in return. Getting clients to pay their bills can occasionally be a struggle, and agencies seeking accreditation must have smooth protocol. The faculty reiterated their willingness and availability to help agencies work through these issues and standards.
The leadership team welcomed questions throughout the session, and addressed OSHA standards, the issue of transparency, and annual reports. Lucy Andrews, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of At Your Service in Santa Rosa, California, presented the third and final segment of the session. “We want to raise the bar,” she began, and continued with how to become an “Accreditation Champion.” Because agency staff members are involved in the accreditation process, it’s important to be enthusiastic. Ms. Andrews suggested agencies should ask themselves, “What is our “why” for our organization in completing this process?,” and consider organizing a kick-off gathering at a staff meeting or event to motivate and educate about the accreditation process.
If you missed this education session at the Private Duty Home Care Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, February 1-2, and would like more information or access to the presentation notes, please contact Katharine Howard at NAHC: firstname.lastname@example.org