Home Health Business Briefs: Care Angel, HealthSouth Corporation

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, home health care is teeming with activity — from acquisitions and partnerships to new leadership appointments and promotions. Here’s the latest news buzzing around the industry:

Linda Rhodes Joins Care Angel as Chief Caregiving Officer

Care Angel has announced that Dr. Linda Rhodes, former Secretary of Aging for Pennsylvania, has joined its team as chief caregiving officer. Rhodes’ appointment follows the recent unveiling of Care Angel, which is led by health care industry veteran and Consult A Doctor founder Wolf Shlagman.

Currently in stealth mode, Care Angel represents “the next generation of caregiving” through its proprietary virtual caregiving platform, the company says.

The technology allows family members to remotely monitor their aging loved ones through a mobile application. The platform collects and analyzes care metadata in real-time from aging-in-place seniors, and privately reports it to their families and friends, streamlining the care process across multiple caregivers.

“As Care Angel’s chief caregiving officer, Dr. Rhodes brings decades of award-winning caregiving and elder care guidance to help our team inspire and support a culture of healthy aging in place,” said Shlagman, founder and CEO, in a statement. “We are honored to have an industry expert like Dr. Rhodes join Care Angel, bolstering our team’s extensive knowledge and insights in the aging space as we continue to grow.”

As Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Aging from 1987 through 1994, Rhodes initiated Pennsylvania’s Family Caregiver Support Program as one of the first and largest such programs in the country. She is the author of The Essential Guide to Caring for Aging Parents and has received three National Mature Media Awards.

Rhodes holds a doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College and is currently the director of the Hirtzel Institute of Health Education and Aging at Mercyhurst University.

“The rapidly rising number of family members using some type of technology to assist in caregiving tasks are hungry for intuitive Web-based and mobile technologies that further simplify and facilitate their caregiving,” Rhodes said. “I myself have been a caregiver, both in my home and long-distance for my parents. Care Angel’s perceptive platform will simplify and maximize the way we care for and connect with older people in our lives.”

With the introduction of its technology, Care Angel hopes to offer a cost-efficient solution for families, corporations and insurance providers spending billions of dollars each year on long-term care. The company plans to launch its mobile platform later this year.

ChartaCloud Introduces IT Solutions Aimed at Home Health Care Businesses

ChartaCloud Technologies LLC recently announced the availability of ForMedical Cloud services, a cloud-based platform of IT services developed specifically for home health care service organizations.

ForMedical Cloud provides home health care services with a single source solution for the provisioning and use of foundational IT technologies necessary to operate a home health care business in an age defined by HIPAA security and privacy compliance, electronic health records and the digital demands of mobile health care professionals, the company says. 

“Home health care services organizations are an extremely critical dimension of the health care industry and play an increasingly important role in the cycle of quality health care delivery,”  said Lauryn Schimmel, managing director of ChartaCloud. “We are being responsive to the needs expressed by the home health care industry to have the technologies and a business partner that can help them navigate the growing complexities of compliant IT needed to deliver quality health care and enhance the operational effectiveness and profitability of their businesses.”

ForMedical Cloud is offered as a scalable service, which means that home health care businesses can choose the specific IT service or services they need based on their size and pay only for what they use.

The IT services being offered include:

  • secure email, texting, printing and mobile device management
  • encrypted electronic healthcare records, 
  • ‘smart paper’ forms and tablet-based mobile forms processing, 
  • expert automated risk assessment profiles, and
  • electronic visit verification, among others.

ChartaCares has also extended the ForMedical Cloud service platform with a comprehensive set of professional services and IT equipment procurement and support options that include 24/7 help desk, HIPAA compliance staff training, on-site IT audits, and more.

“With ForMedical Cloud and ChartaCares we have created an ecology where home health care providers can choose what they need, while we provision and manage the technologies, and they can continue on with providing quality care.” Schimmel said.

HealthSouth, Memorial Health Begin Joint Operations in Savannah, Ga.

HealthSouth Corporation (NYSE: HLS) and Memorial Health recently began joint operations of Savannah Rehabilitation Hospital, a 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Georgia. The hospital provides comprehensive physical rehabilitation to patients who have experienced stroke, trauma, brain and orthopedic injuries or other major illnesses or injuries.

During the first quarter, HealthSouth and Memorial Health began building a new 50-bed physical rehabilitation hospital, which will also be located in Savannah.

“This hospital provides residents of Savannah and the surrounding areas with continued access to high-quality physical rehabilitative care distinguished by intensive, individualized therapy and advanced technologies,” said HealthSouth Southeast Region President Linda Wilder. “The tremendous dedication and tireless efforts of Memorial Health, HealthSouth and our employees ensure a seamless transition for our patients with no interruptions to service or patient care.”

Cypress Foundation Supports Home Health Division in South Carolina

The Cypress Foundation of Clarendon Memorial, based in South Carolina, recently presented Clarendon Health System’s home health division with 100 scales, totaling more than $1,100, for patients who need to track their weight on a regular basis, according to a report on Manning Live. 

“We are trying to reduce hospitalization for patients with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure or COPD,” said Denise Melton, RN, of Clarendon Memorial Hospital Home Health. “Our home health patients are given a booklet to keep track of their weights. By having the scales the patients will be able to weigh themselves every morning to see if they have gained weight. If they gain two pounds or more, they can contact our office for help.”

The scales are being distributed to home health patients who cannot afford to buy them due to limited incomes.

Software Provider Partners With Home Health Expert to Improve Compliance 

HEALTHCAREfirst, a provider of Web-based software and services for home health and hospice care, announced recently that it has partnered with Tina Marrelli, president of Marrelli & Associates, Inc., to improve compliance by integrating the industry’s leading clinical guidance materials into its home health and hospice software.

HEALTHCAREfirst is incorporating recommended care standards, care plan goals and interventions from Marrelli’s, “The Handbook of Home Health Standards, Quality, Documentation and Reimbursement,” also known as “The Little Red Book.”

Care standards in the handbook come from published research and extensive practical experience, and have been tuned for regulatory compliance. In its fifth edition, the book has enjoyed widespread use by thousands of home care and hospice clinicians and organizations since its original publication more than 20 years ago.

Home care agencies now have software that they can rely on to help them meet the complexity of regulatory guidelines and improve their patient care, the company says.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Tina to develop the most compliant software solution available to home care,” said Stan Bell, senior vice president of products. “Her expert guidance and input will help to ensure that our customers experience improved compliance and better efficiency.”

This clinical guidance integration will be made available in HEALTHCAREfirst’s recently announced Mobile Solution for Android. Developed with guidance from industry and IT experts, the mobile solution ensures workflows that are conducive to faster and more compliant care documentation.

Written by Emily Study