Podcast – Are You Listening?

February 28, 2018

Yesterday, on this blog we announced our latest podcast, featuring a conversation with Barbra Citarella on Emergency Preparedness in our industry. See post below for the links to listen and find the referenced resources. Today, I thought it fun to stray a bit from the home care topics normally covered here to reflect a bit on the whole notion of podcasting. Hope you enjoy. — Pat Kelleher

In 1978, a little known and now little remembered musical group the Buggles put out the song “Video Killed the Radio Star,” a self-explanatory lyric that about the perceived loss of imagination inherent in the move to turn music into pictures (i.e., videos). The song — for all you trivia buffs — was the first video aired on August 1, 1981 at 12:01 on a little upstart channel known as MTV.

Well, in 2018, audio is back and in a big way. The phenomenon known as “podcasting” is exploding, with walkers, long-distance travelers, and insomniacs finding there’s a lot out there to listen to no matter your taste, politics, or hobbies. Surprisingly, healthcare seems one of the least fertile areas – hard to make regulatory updates engaging!

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, be forewarned: There is a lot of junk out there from so-called subject matter experts who quickly reveal a paucity of knowledge on their chosen topic and aren’t quite as clever as they think they are. If you aren’t yet a “podhead,” to get started, it’s often good to look to some of the “OGs” – the originals that paved the way with content and high-production quality, such as This American Life and the TED Radio Hour. For techie type stuff, Reply All is good fun and, for those who like language and word play, the British import The Allusionist is on many “best of” lists. Note: these links are all websites, but all of these can be found on iTunes or the podcast app on your smart phone.

At HCA of MA, we have just gotten started podcasting, and interesting guests are welcome! If you have a home care story to tell, email me: pkelleher@thinkhomecare.org and we will have you on!

We also welcome hearing in comments what are some of your favorite health care or non-health care podcast series or episodes. Here are links to a few of mine – two are stories that, like all great stories, are of loss and love. One is on technology’s infiltration in our lives. All three are infinitely listenable. They are:

Happy Listening!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Alliance Statement on NAHC President Val Halamandaris’ Passing

July 28, 2017

The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts is deeply saddened by the passing of Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

Val dedicated most of his professional life to public service, and transformed the home care industry over the last five decades by fighting for elderly, disabled, and dying Americans. For 20 years, he served as counsel to the Senate and House Committees on Aging before founding NAHC and serving as its president for the last 30 years.

When Val started at NAHC, home care wasn’t what it is today. Institutionalization of the elderly was the standard, and Val sought to change the United States’ policy on this fundamental issue.

“The home care industry suffered an enormous loss this week. Val Halamandaris’ dedication to fighting for Americans’ rights to age in their homes and receive the care that they deserve was unprecedented.We all mourn this loss, but celebrate his 50 years of commitment to our most vulnerable,” said Alliance Board Chair, Holly Chaffee.

Val is survived by his wife, Kathleen, three sons, their wives, six grandchildren, and his brother. A funeral mass will be held for him at 10:00 am on Saturday at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Caring Institute.

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Everything You Want to Know About eLearning Partnership with Corridor Group in One Place

November 30, 2016

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The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has partnered with the Corridor Group to provide an exciting new membership benefit. Corridor Campus eLearning is an online program that provides orientation and ongoing education for all levels of staff, allowing you to streamline training across your organization while providing Continuing Education Credits. Topics of the 150+ courses offered include ICD-10, Sexual Harassment, Alzheimer’s, HIPAA, Infection Control, and much more!

Home Care Alliance member agencies receive a discounted rate on Corridor Campus, paying the lowest per user fee they offer. Along with this great offer, our members will also have the opportunity to receive a 15% discount on any other Corridor products they purchase.

After the partnership was announce this summer, the Home Care Alliance held an informative webinar that introduced the software and did a brief demo. All information about this partnership including the recording of the webinar is available at www.thinkhomecare.org/Corridor. Take a look at this great opportunity to save your agency money while receiving great education for your staff!

If you have any questions about this partnership you can contact Megan Fournier at mfournier@thinkhomecare.org

Click Here to go to eLearning Partnership Page to Learn More!


Home Health Quality Date Updated on PatientCareLink Website

November 13, 2014

The latest available quality performance measures from Medicare’s Home Health Compare database for all Alliance member agencies was posted this week to the PatientCareLink website. The website is hosted by the MA Hospital Association, and the home health data is posted through a joint agreement between the Home Care Alliance and MHA.

To view the updated reports, visit www.patientcarelink.org and click on the “Healthcare Provider Data” tab and then “Home Health Agency Data” and then “Select an Agency.” The reports now incorporate data for the period July, 2013 – June, 2014, for all measures except measure #30, which is for the period of April, 2013 – March, 2014. In addition to each home care agency’s individual performance, the PCL pages also provide a comparison to the U.S. agency average scores.

“Providing high quality, safe patient care is a top priority for Massachusetts home healthcare agencies,” said Patricia Kelleher, Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance MA. “The home health data on the PCL site can be very useful to patients and their families. In addition, the partnership between hospitals and home health agencies on PCL furthers positive working relationships along the entire continuum of care, which can only improve patient safety and quality overall.”


Seventy Agencies Accredited!

March 19, 2014

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The Alliance hit a milestone this week, with a new total of 70 agencies currently Accredited!  To earn accreditation from the Alliance, each of those agencies submitted documentation demonstrating their compliance with fifteen separate measures covering client rights and protections, caregiver qualifications and skills, insurance coverage, and employment practices.  Details about the Accreditation standards are available on the Accreditation Page of the Alliance’s website.

The Alliance developed the Accreditation program because Massachusetts does not have a licensing program specific to home care agencies.  By their adherence to the fifteen Accreditation standards, private care home care agencies demonstrate their commitment to quality.

A complete list of Accredited agencies is available here.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


Home Health Data on PatientCareLink Updated

August 23, 2013

Updated Home Health Compare data has been posted to the PatientCareLink website. Home Health Compare data allows consumers to compare the quality outcomes of Medicare-certified home health care agencies on a variety of standardized quality measures. See how the agencies in your area compare to other agencies and to national average scores.


New Web Resource on Hospital Quality Adds Home Health Data

July 18, 2013

A collaborative effort of three leading healthcare trade associations has brought a new, first-in-the-nation website for consumers to find quality data on the state’s hospitals and, more recently, federally-certified home health agencies.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts and the Organization on Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have teamed up to build the website called PatientCareLink. The site aims to deliver transparent quality and safety information from hospitals and home care agencies to patients and other healthcare stakeholders.

The data itself is drawn directly from the Medicare Home Health Compare website and is updated regularly. An alphabetical list of agencies is presented and each agency has their contact information and website included with selected quality measures that are compared to the national average for home health agencies.

The Alliance invites all to browse through the website, which will be continually promoted and improved, and see the website’s introductory video above with HCA’s Executive Director Patricia Kelleher.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.


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