Dare County Home Health is topic of radio
County's Home Health program was the subject of discussion on Sunday,
Jan. 17, on the Radio Hatteras Interview show, "To the Point," hosted
by Island Free Press editor Irene Nolan.
The guest for the interview was Holly Meekins, unit director of Dare
Home Health and Dare Hospice, which is a division of the county's
Department of Public Health and under the umbrella of the county's
Department of Health and Human Services.
Meekins discussed the services that the agency provides to patients in
their home, including disease management and education, post-surgical
wound care, IV infusion, physical, occupational, and speech therapy,
social services, and nutrition.
The non-profit agency, Meekins said, was formed in the mid-1970s in
response to the need and the geography of Dare County.
The county -- and thus the patients served -- are spread out over a
wide geographical area, meaning fewer patient visits than some private,
for-profit agencies require. However, as Meekins noted, Dare's
Board of Commissioners has continued to support the home health agency,
even if it doesn't always break even financially.
This is especially important to those of us on Hatteras Island, where
travel to health care providers is time-consuming and, at times,
challenging and precarious.
Meekins said that Dare Home Health nurses and therapists have traveled
on the emergency ferry from Stumpy Point to Rodanthe to see patients
Last year, Meekins said, Dare Home Health served 107 patients on
Hatteras Island. Most -- but not all -- were Medicare
patients. Meekins said the agency helps patients of all ages and
those covered by Medicare or Medicaid and private insurance. Dare
Home Health, she said, also serves patients with no insurance, who pay
on a sliding scale.
"People don't stay in hospitals as long as they used to," Meekins says.
"They come home and continue their recovery there."
Those are the folks, she said, who may require nursing or therapy
services at home. Patients must be referred by a physician. Once
a patient is admitted to Dare Home Health, services are available
24/7. Most times, Meekins said, services are available for a
limited time, until they are recovered or their goals are met.
In 2015, for the second year in a row, Dare Home Health has been
awarded HomeCare Elite status. HomeCare Elite is an annual
compilation of the most successful home care providers in the U.S. It
is compiled by the National Research Corporation and DecisionHealth,
using public data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The methodology included analysis of such things as quality of care,
quality improvement, patient experience, and financial performance. The
top 25 percent of agencies received recognition.
Information on Dare County Home Health is available on the county
Click on Departments at the top of the page. If you have
questions, you can contact Holly Meekins at [email protected]m
"To the Point" airs on the island's community radio station, FM 101.5 ,
at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month. It is
repeated on the second and fourth Sunday. Those who don't live on
Hatteras can listen to the show on Sundays through live streaming at www.radiohatteras.org.
Scroll down and click on the appropriate "To the Point" logo to listen
to the audio of the interview.
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