PCHS to end home health program

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Some home healthcare patients in Perry County will soon have to seek out new providers after a decision made by the Perry County Health System board of directors to stop offering home-based services.
Perry County Health System CEO Chris Wibbenmeyer issued a statement Monday regarding the decision, citing the increasing number of competitive providers, along with “increased regulatory and reimbursement pressures” as factors influencing the board’s decision.
“For many years, Perry County Health System has been honored to provide home health services to many patients in the area,” Wibbenmeyer said in the statement. “However, in part due to increased regulatory and reimbursement pressures and being 1 of 15 other home health providers in the region, our board and leadership team have made the difficult decision to phase out our home health service.”
Wibbenmeyer stressed that PCHS will continue to provide service to its home health patients through the end of January.
“If services are needed beyond this date, PCHS will assist our patients in transitioning to another local home health agency of the patient’s choice,” Wibbenmeyer said.
Perry County Health Services has provided home healthcare services since July 1985 and serves approximately 20 patients.
“The actual census changes daily,” said PCHS chief nursing officer Amber Bishop. “By the time of the closure, our goal is to have all patients transferred to another home health for them to receive continuity of care.”
Bishop added that those patients are served by four care providers, all of whom will be moved into new positions with Perry County Health System after the closure.

“PCHS has also offered comparable positions within our organization to our home health
employees,” Wibbenmeyer said in his statement. “PCHS intends to retain all of our valuable home health employees to continue to provide excellent care to our community.”
PCHS Home Health offered several services ranging from home health aides to medical social work, nursing, occupational, physical and speech therapy.
“These services are rehabilitative in nature and are designed to return a patient to their maximum level of health and function,” reads the PCHS Home Health website. “Home Health services are frequently ordered by a patient’s physician after an illness or surgery but are also very instrumental in teaching patients and their families how to manage new disease diagnoses or changes in medication regimens.”
Wibbenmeyer said the decision to cease offering home health services will not affect PCHS’ overall mission.
“Despite this change, PCHS remains focused on growing our many other services, including
primary, specialty, and hospital care in continued support of our mission: “To be the first choice
of quality healthcare for our community,” Wibbenmeyer said.

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