Covenant HomeCare, the area’s largest non-profit home health and hospice provider, has been recognized as the only home health agency in Tennessee and only one of 10 in the nation to reach Milestone 4 of a five-step Home Health Quality Improvement initiative aimed at preventing heart attack and strokes.
The HHQI Cardiovascular Health Improvement initiative is an ongoing effort to reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke among home health patients through a series of best practice interventions. The program utilizes the Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry which tracks data on aspirin and tobacco usage, blood pressure and cholesterol levels among home health patients with ischemic vascular disease.
Qsource, a quality improvement organization under contract for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, cited Covenant HomeCare for reaching the fourth of five milestones in the HHQI Cardiovascular Health Improvement initiative. Evaluations for the final milestone focus on improvements in key areas over a multi-month period and results are expected in fall 2017.
“The achievement of this milestone is an example of our ongoing commitment to providing excellent care and putting patients first,” said John Huskey, president of Covenant HomeCare, which offers skilled nursing, certified nursing assistants, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical social services and home medical equipment. Covenant HomeCare serves more than 4,700 patients annually in 17 counties through branches in Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Morristown.
Covenant HomeCare is one of more than 2,300 home health agencies participating in the cardiovascular health initiative. According to the Centers for Disease Control heart disease causes more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and more than half of Americans have one or more of three key risk factors: tobacco use, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
“Heart disease is a serious problem in Tennessee,” said Huskey. “At Covenant HomeCare, we believe this is a wonderful opportunity to work with patients one-on-one in their homes to help them understand their risks and live longer, healthier lives.”