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AHCA Regulations Highlight Differences between Home Health Agencies and Nurse Registries

October 1, 2019

  Within the past year, numerous provisions related to the regulation of healthcare facilities by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) were amended, as per Florida Senate Bill 622, with several of the amendments directly affecting nurse registries. To understand how the provisional amendments affect in-home healthcare, it’s important to note that nurse registries and home health agencies are two separate business entities with different regulations. For example, both businesses provide healthcare services to patients in their homes, but home health agencies (like the VNA) are required by Florida law to employ their caregivers, whereas nurse registries use independent contractors. The reality is nurse registries do not have employees, they do not carry workers compensation insurance, nor do they carry liability or malpractice insurance. Independent contractors working on behalf of nurse registries are also not covered by the registry for injury, damages, or criminal acts, such as theft. Home health agencies like the VNA provide full workers’ compensation, liability and malpractice insurance, as well as take full responsibility for all employees’ conduct and behavior. As per the latest legislative changes, nurse registries are restricted f

August 7, 2019

vna care manager lauren and client pattyPatty is happy to be a client of the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA). Her children, grandchildren and extended family members live out of state, so Patty relies on her VNA Certified Care Manager, Lauren Fischesser, R.N., to help her remain active and independent. She also relies on Lauren to keep her family informed about her health and well-being.

In addition to managing Patty’s medications, accompanying her to doctors’ appointments, making sure she has any medical equipment she may need, and keeping her family informed, Lauren also provides companionship and brightens Patty’s day in heartwarming ways.

“We have dinner together and spend holidays together,” Patty said. “And we tease each other a lot.”

”We really are good friends,” said Lauren.

Patty was a client of Lauren’s in the past when Lauren worked for a different home healthcare agen

August 2, 2019

vna-of-florida-home-health-aide Certified nursing assistants and home health aides play a vital role in patient’s lives. CNAs and HHAs are tasked with providing personal care to clients and assisting them with daily activities. For the last year of Steve’s life, Roselene Destin, a certified nursing assistant with the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida, provided him with superior care. After Steve was released from the hospital following a bad case of pneumonia, his daughter Suzanne contacted the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida. Steve, who was a World War II Navy veteran, utilized the VNA’s private in-home care services. Roselene helped Steve with grooming, bathing, toileting, mobility and light housekeeping. His wife, Jeannine, was thankful for the assistance. “The VNA helped my mother and me mentally, physically and emotionally. My mom couldn’t have done all that herself,” Suzanne said. Jeannine says that Steve and Roselene had a very close bond. In addition to providing Steve with quality care, she also provided him companionship. “He always looked forward to seeing her. She brought a smile to my husband’s face every time she

March 27, 2019

  The Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA) participated in a community outreach event at the Kane Center recently to help promote awareness about local home health services that are available to senior citizens and their families. The event was coordinated by Thaysha Dutes and Natalie Darling, two South University nursing students who regularly work with seniors at the Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital. “The number one thing I hear from patients getting ready to leave the hospital is that they aren’t sure who to turn to or where to go,” said Thaysha. “I wanted to let the community know there are resources out there that they may not be aware of.” The event highlighted local Alzheimer’s, stroke, and home healthcare organizations and the services they provide to those who have become immobilized due to their current health condition. Representatives from Encompass Health, Alzheimer’s Community Care, Total Home Health, the Kane Center, and the Coalition for Independent Living Options also spoke at the event. Andy Palacios, VNA Administrator, and other staff members were on-hand to discuss the home health services provided by the VNA that can be of great benefit to seniors and their families, such as Alzheimer and dementia monitoring, in-home doctor visits through Visi

February 26, 2019

  vna-home-health-care-patient-kateKathleen, or “Kate” as her friends call her, has been a patient with the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA) for over 3 years. Originally from New York City, she grew up acting and performing in the city’s theaters. It was while walking through New York City that she first felt a sharp pain in her leg. The following morning, she awoke to find that her leg was bright red. Having previously had knee replacement surgery, Kate thought her pain was directly related to her knee implant. But the next day, when her other leg began displaying the same symptoms, Kate knew it was something else. Eventually, she decided to relocate to Florida to be closer to her family while trying to gain control of her health. Ultimately, she underwent 21 different surgeries to try to alleviate her symptoms. While she healed, she employed the home health care services of the VNA.

“Everyone at the VNA goes above and beyond to make their patients feel like more than just a number,” said Kate.

Now, over three years later, Kate has employed many home health care services offered by the VNA

January 31, 2019

VNA Patient Spotlight: Meet Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, Judge

Judge G., a retired Air Force Master Sargent and Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA) home health patient, recently celebrated his 102nd birthday. When asked what his secret is for longevity, he replied with a smile, “Always eat your vegetables.” Judge, who was born in Louisiana, began his military career in Virginia in 1940. The World War II veteran recounted his experiences following his enlistment in the Air Force. “I flew my plane right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” he said. While stationed at Bowman Air Field in Kentucky, he met his late wife, Ann. They were married for 52 years and have two children and four grandchildren. Judge began using the VNA’s home health services after severe chest discomfort landed him in the local hospital. Thankfully, his pain was attributed to a non-life-threatening issue and he was released from the hospital with orders to begin using home health services. A friend of Judge’s son recommended that he use the VNA because they had a very positive experience with the agency and their staff. “A friend of ours had been using the VNA’s services for their parents and they were very satisfied,” said Judge’s son, David.

July 13, 2018

VNA Care Management: Why You Need This if You’re Caring for an Aging Loved One

The Visiting Nurse Association of Florida (VNA) understands firsthand that care management is a full-time responsibility. It’s not uncommon for family members who are caring for a loved one at home to find themselves handling more than just their loved one’s immediate healthcare needs. Oftentimes, family members must manage their loved one’s financial obligations, doctor’s appointments, caregiver scheduling, medication refills, and so much more. When the demands of caring for a loved one become too challenging to manage alone, family members need someone to turn for trusted care management services—someone like the VNA. Care management by the VNA connects medical professionals with family members who are caring for an aging loved one at home. Our care management team assists family members with managing their loved one’s health conditions and associated responsibilities, including:

  • Handling and monitoring basic financial transactions
  • Patient transitions to and from hospital stays
  • Coordination of home healthcare services
  • Providing resource referrals for elder law, financial planning, and bill paying

  If you worry about the safety and well-being of your elderly loved one becau

February 26, 2016

CHEERS TO FORTY! Four decades ago, VNA of Martin County, before it became Visiting Nurse Association of Florida, established its roots in our community. It was founded on the belief that anyone recovering from illness or injuries deserved in-home professional nursing care, regardless of their ability to pay. Celebrating its 40th year in operation, VNA of Florida has conducted more than 2 million patient visits and received multiple national awards for quality of patient care and satisfaction. The nonprofit has built its brand on professionalism and putting the patient first while continually adapting to the ever-changing healthcare industry. “More than anything,” says CEO Don Crow, “the credit for our success could not be achieved without the dedication of our clinical staff and key employees that have been with the company for over 20 years. The work they do is just incredible.” In 1976, Patricia Quinn Crow took a bold stand to save Martin County’s only option for home healthcare. Initially just a small3 satellite office of the much-larger Palm Beach Regional VNA, the Martin County branch faced closing its doors when the parent operation suffered financial strain. Pa

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