Whether a patient is recovering from a serious illness, surgery or an accident, home health care is a vital link to recovery or a better quality of life.
Normally offered at home, these supportive services also play a key role in assisted living settings.
Since 1972, Payson Regional Home Health has served patients in a 50-mile radius of the community.
Through home health care, people with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart failure, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension or cardiovascular disease can receive skilled care in the privacy of their homes.
Currently, about 7.6 million Americans receive this type of care, which studies show speed recovery and improve quality of life.
Adequate care also reduces the risk of infections. The U.S. General Accounting Office reports that home health care patients live longer thanks to the quality care they receive.
Personalized care costs much less than hospital care. Medicare-eligible patients who qualify for home health care may face no out-of-pocket cost. Many private insurance companies and state programs also pay for home health care. The home health care agency staff can verify insurance coverage for clients and help eliminate stress and confusion at a time when someone just needs good care.
Additionally, because home health care patients have fewer complications and recover more quickly, the services avoid secondary hospitalizations and reduce long-term medical costs.
New and familiar faces
Payson Regional Home Health has some new faces serving its clients.
Tanya Schlegel-Ryden is the service’s new director. She moved into the post from being interim director about six months ago.
Teresa Bryan came on board as PRHH clinical supervisor and education specialist in October. She actually started in August, when she was sent from the corporate offices.
She has instituted a program that has substantially reduced the number of re-hospitalizations of clients. It involves educating patients to identify how they’re feeling through a color code: green indicates they are feeling alright (for them); yellow means they are experiencing some minor difficulties; and red means they need to get to the emergency room.
Other recent changes incorporated into the PRHH care of patients include added time with patients and more visits.
In recent months the client base of PRHH has experienced substantial growth and consequently has added a number of staff members and is still looking to fill vacancies.
It enjoys a growing physical therapy staff with Michael Crossman, physical therapist; Mark Saalfrank, occupational therapist; Dr. Shannon Trout, doctor of physical therapy; Roberta Tantimonaco, physical therapist; Diana Vance and Monica Nestich, physical therapy aides.
The nursing staff specializes in wounds, wound vac, IVs and providing chemotherapy in the home, plus education for living with chronic heart failure, COPD and diabetes.
The RNs with Payson Regional Home Health include Ellen May, Lisa Mulcahey, Patricia Vogler, Tammy Sedlock, Dave Lyons and Bryan.
Assisting in providing services and educating the public are Tabitha Dando, home health aide; Ida Long, PRHH full-time administrative assistant; and Kathleen Hughes, home care liaison and marketing.
Dr. Mark Ivey is the medical director for Payson Regional Home Health.
“We’re very proud to have him with us. He is such an advocate of home health and a so highly engaged physician,” Schlegel-Ryden said.
The hope is to bring LPNs onto the staff, as well as both a speech therapist and social worker.
“Payson Regional Home Health is the quickest growing agency in the CHS family,” Bryan said. Still, it is one of the most underutilized health care programs, especially considering it is 100 percent eligible for Medicare coverage and is also covered by most insurance.
To further educate Rim Country residents about the services of PRHH, the staff is doing more activities in the community — presenting programs at the Payson Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle, Payson Senior Center and at Majestic Rim.
Payson Regional Home Health staff members are also willing to speak to area clubs and organizations.
To learn more, call (928) 472-5245.