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Home health services in New Hampshire.
  • Published Date:
    1976 Nov-Dec
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 91(6):545-551
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.18 MB]


Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    825922
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMCnull
  • Description:
    While home health services have traditionally been an underused component of the health care system, current trends suggest the desirability of expanding these services. These trends include an increase in the number of elderly who need the benefits of home care, the recognition that long-term chronic illnesses require appropriate management at home, and concern that patients have access to care at the level most appropriate to their illnesses. In New Hampshire, 41 certified home health agencies offer services. Little systematic research has been conducted on the kinds of services they provide and the patients seen by their staffs. Patient encounter data were collected from a sample of eight agencies for a 4-week period. Staff of the agencies used the patient contact record developed by the National Functional Task Analysis Cooperative Study to collect data. The data reflected differences among the agencies in the size of the populations they serve, organizational characteristics, reasons for patients' visits, expected sources of the revenue that supported them, and the diagnosis of the patients they cared for. The agencies served areas with populations ranging from 1,000 to 40,000. The staffs ranged from 1 to 14 full-time persons. Two were public agencies; the others had voluntary sponsorship. When data on reasons for visits were averaged for the eight agencies, it was shown that 72% of the visits were made for disease control activities such as care for a chronic or acute condition or for treatment or a laboratory test. Disease prevention activities such as a checkup for adults, children, prenatal or postnatal care, or health education accounted for only 24% of the visits. This result may indicate that, in areas short of physician manpower, the community health nurse is taking on increasing responsibility for medical care as well as health and education. Reimbursement for the visits came from Medicare, 25%; Medicaid-welfare, 14%; the patients, 18%; and health insurance, 3%. For 35% of the visits there was no charge; they were underwritten by community resources.

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