WITH OTHER COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT HOSPICE
Butte Home Health & Hospice
is one of
eight community organizations participating in "Friends
, a pilot communication program to raise
awareness and understanding of hospice as well as to encourage
people to complete advance directives. Letters about the campaign
are just beginning to arrive at nearly 3,000 homes in Tehama,
Butte and Glenn counties. Those who receive the letters are being
asked to spread the word about hospice to their network of friends
and loved ones via e-mail or postcard.
Hospice is a form of health care provided to people who are confronting
a serious illness when cure is no longer a reasonable goal. Nationally,
only about a third of those eligible for hospice care end up receiving
it. In our area, more than half of those who receive hospice care
are in a program for a short period – just 18 days in 2005.
The coalition sponsoring the Friends of Hospice
pilot program includes: American Cancer Society; Butte Home Health
and Hospice; Butte-Glenn Medical Society; California State University,
Chico, School of Nursing; Chico Area Interfaith Council; Enloe
Medical Center Hospice; Paradise Hospice; and Passages Adult Resource
By sending postcards or emails to friends, those who have been
touched by hospice as a family member, volunteer, or donor can
support Friends of Hospice
to share their hospice experience, should their friends ever want
to know more. They will also encourage people to talk to their
families about their wishes in the event of a serious illness.
In addition to the letter, Friends of Hospice
is offering free informational materials about advance care planning
and hospice on its website (www.hospicefoundation.info
and through a toll-free number (1-877-248-1122). Through the website
or hotline, those interested can register to attend an information
session on May 31 at 5 p.m. in Chico, on June 7 at 10 a.m. in
Paradise, or on June 8 at 9 a.m. in Oroville.
If successful, Friends of Hospice
be implemented in other California communities. Friends
is funded by private donations under the auspices
of California Hospice Foundation, 501(c)(3) charitable foundation
dedicated to improving access to quality hospice and palliative
care services through education and public awareness.
columnist and author Art Buchwald has elected to forego
life-prolonging dialysis in favor of hospice, and is getting coverage
by the national media:
here to read the article in USA Today
here to read the PBS article
MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF BUTTE HOME HEALTH & HOSPICE
The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
announced that Dr. Samuel Brown
director of Butte Home Health & Hospice received certification
in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
The Hospice and palliative medicine is a discipline of care devoted
to providing the best possible quality of life for the patient and
family throughout a life-threatening illness.
According to the ABHPM website, www.ABHPM.org
Dr. Brown is the only physician with this certification in Butte
County and one of only two north of Sacramento. He is also board
certified in Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and is an EPEC Trainer
(Education for Physician on End of Life Care).
For the past six years Dr. Brown has served as medical director
for Butte Home Health & Hospice
and created the treatment protocol for its Memory Loss Program.
He continues to follow the new and developing treatment for Alzheimer's
disease and other forms of Dementia.
Butte Home Health Designated a "National Best Practice Agency"
In Preventing Hospitalization
Butte Home Health recently achieved the status
of a "national best practice agency" under the Briggs
National Quality Improvement/ Hospitalization Reduction Study,
which was sponsored by the Briggs Corp. and cosponsored by the
National Association for Home Care & Hospice and Fazzi Associates.
The study's goal was to determine a common set of best practices
used by home health agencies that are most successful in keeping
patient hospitalization rates at 19 percent or lower, though the
national average is approximately 28 percent or higher. The study
researchers used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) to select agencies that represent the top-performing
10 percent in minimizing re-hospitalizations and also engaged
the home care community at large for input on best practices for
"We are extremely proud that Butte Home
has improved the lives of tens of thousands of seniors
over the past 20 years. We are honored to be named as a National
Best Practice Agency," said Brooke Quilici, PHN, Director
of Patient Care Services. "We look forward to continuing
to improve the quality of care for seniors in Butte, Glenn, and
The top five best practice strategies identified in
the report are:
- fall prevention (83%)
- front loading services (71%)
- management culture and support (69%)
- medication management (64%)
- 24 hour availability (63%)
A summary of the report can be viewed at:
21 Reasons for Home Care: Read the full text here.
Butte Home Health Receives High Marks on Medicare
The latest Home Health Compare numbers have been posted by Medicare
and, once again, Butte Home Health is at the top of the pack.
As part of the Home Health Quality Initiative, Home Health Compare
shares information with the general public about how local Home
Health Agencies rate.
The agencies are compared on 11 quality measurements,
"Percentage of patients who have less pain when moving around",
"Percentage of patients who get better at taking their medicines
"Percentage of patients who had to be admitted to the hospital."
At Home Health Compare, visitors to the site can compare agencies
not only to each other, but to State and National results in each
category. Medicare updates the results quarterly and they are now
available at the Medicare website.
Butte Home Health applaudes Medicare's efforts to inform consumers
and hold Home Health Agencies accountable for their quality of care.
Please visit www.medicare.gov
and click on the "Home Health Compare" link.