New Jersey Nurse Delegation Pilot Program

William Ditto, Director of Disability Services for New Jersey’s Department of Human Services, presented the progress of his state’s “nurse delegation” pilot program at a legislative briefing hosted by the Home Care Alliance.

The briefing centered around S.860, An Act Relative to Home Health Aides, which would allow nurses to delegate the administration of certain medications to home health aides in the home setting.

For more info on New Jersey’s pilot program, see the William Ditto Presentation.

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Nurse Delegation Progresses

In an executive session, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing reported out S.860, An Act Relative to Home Health Aides favorably. It is not yet determined where the legislation will progress to, but the proposal is still very much alive and moving forward. Stay tuned on how to keep the momentum going!

The Home Care Alliance’s legislative briefing on the bill was well attended by HCA members, representatives from supporting organizations and legislative staff.

Senator Richard Moore, the legislation’s sponsor, welcomed attendees and presented an overview of the issue of “nurse delegation” as seen from his perspective as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. His remarks are available on HCA’s YouTube page.

HCA Executive Director Patricia Kelleher continued on Senator Moore’s thoughts and introduced Margo Bourne from the VNA of Boston who spoke about a specific patient case where nurse delegation would be a huge benefit. Rigney Cunningham from the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of MA also presented the hospice side of nurse delegation and how removing the barrier to allow aides to administer certain medications would mean better delivery of hospice services.

The featured speaker for the event was William Ditto, Director of Disability Services for New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. New Jersey is running a Nurse Delegation Pilot Program and he spoke about some of the successes, progress and speed bumps that have been a part of that experience.  A few thoughts from Mr. Ditto are also available on HCA’s YouTube page.

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Free Program on Home Oxygen Safety

The Home Care Alliance and Brockton VNA, in cooperation with the Department of Fire Services (DFS), will be holding a free program on Home Oxygen Fire Safety.

The event will be May 5 at the Brockton VNA.

With shorter hospital stays and an aging population, home oxygen use is increasing. There are also an increasing number of burns, fires and fire deaths from improper home oxygen use.

The presentation by Jennifer Mieth, Public Education Manager for DFS will describe the fire problem, teach about the special fire risks associated with home oxygen use to patients, families, care-givers (such as visiting nurses, respiratory therapists, etc.), neighbors, firefighters and EMTs. It will review new educational tools available as part of an awareness campaign. It will cover the tension between private health issues (smoking) and public safety threats (causing fires and explosions) and how getting people to change their smoking behavior can also lead to the pre-contemplation step of quitting.

CEU’s will be offered and for more information, visit the HCA Calendar of Events.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Amy Cameron Bennett at the Brockton VNA to register prior to the event at 508-894-5263 or via email at

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Follow the Alliance on Twitter and Save at Spring Conference

Spring Conference is just around the corner. If you`ve never attended, this is our biggest event of the year, and includes:

  • Workshops for your entire senior staff;
  • Can’t-miss keynote speakers like Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tom Kelley (a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and the head of the Massachusetts VA system), and;
  • Exhibits from vendors offering the products and services you need.

In keeping with our technology-orientated Connect, Share, Innovate theme, we’re offering a special discount to our Twitter followers. Just sign in to Twitter, send us an @reply asking for the discount, and we`ll send you a coupon code good for $20 off each registration. It’s a simple and easy way to save on your registration fees and gives you a new way to follow the Alliance and its activities. Even if you’ve already registered for the conference, we`ll send you a refund for the difference.

Want to learn more about the Conference? Just visit its webpage and/or download a brochure. Don`t have a Twitter account or just new to it? It`s easy to use and free to set up. Just download the attached PDF and follow the instructions. Call me if you run into trouble.

How to Get the Discount:

  1. Sign-in to Twitter;
  2. If you’re not already following @thinkhomecare, do so;
  3. Send us an @reply requesting the discount such as “@thinkhomecare I`m attending the Spring Trade Show. Please send me the coupon code.”
  4. We’ll send you a direct message back with the coupon code.

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Chronic Care Management And Home Care

Yesterday more than 40 Alliance members participated in a workshop on making the business care for home care to be at the enter of efforts to introduce better management of chronic illness to the US health care system.   Beth Hennessey of Baptist Home Care provided the agency template for matching the core competencies of home care to the policy and programmatic changes that are envisioned in federal health care insurance and delivery system reform.

One take away message is that Massachusetts may see opportunities in this area even quicker than the rest of the country as this state is moving into Phase II of reform (system realignment) while most other states are still on Phase I (universal coverage).   An immediate challenge to home care to deliver services in a new and different way may well present itself when the state releases its RFP – this spring or summer – for a broad Medical Home pilot.

All home care agencies should be familiar with the state’s plans – as described in their Patient Centered Medical Home Framework for Design and Implementation. Help physicians to see how a new home care partnership can make a medical home work.

– Pat Kelleher

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