Three More Agencies Earn Accreditation

Three more agencies earn accreditation from the Alliance, bringing the total of accredited agencies to 59.

HCA Accreditation Logo

Congratulations to Acti-Kare (Middleboro), Kind Senior Care (North Andover), and Northeast Clinical Services (Danvers) for achieving Home Care Alliance Accreditation!

There are currently 59 agencies that have earned accreditation by demonstrating their compliance with each of the 15 standards of our Accreditation Program.

Since Massachusetts does not license private pay home care agencies, the Alliance created a Home Care Agency Accreditation Program in 2010 to establish operational and quality standards equivalent to licensure in most other states.

The program includes fifteen standards relating to: Client rights, privacy, and complaint procedures; Protections against abuse; Fair employment practices; Caregiver background screening; Competency, training and supervision; Insurance coverage; and Compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Accreditation is only awarded to agencies that meet or exceed all fifteen standards.

The Accreditation Program allows agencies to demonstrate that they meet high standards of quality. It shows clients and families that they are protected because the agency directly employs its workers and carries workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and an employee dishonesty bond. Accreditation demonstrates that an agency’s caregivers receive background checks, screening, and proper training for their jobs. Accreditation also provides a competitive edge in the marketplace, contributes to securing new business, and enhances staff recruitment by showing a commitment to fair labor standards.

Accredited agencies can use the Alliance’s Accreditation Logo to show their commitment to quality on their websites, brochures, and stationery. The Alliance lists all accredited agencies on its website, gives them special designation in its print directories and in the online Find an Agency function.

Seventy Agencies Accredited!

accreditation-logo-no-year

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.

The Joint Commission Releases 2013 National Safety Goals

The Joint Commission recently released their 2013 Home Care National Patient Safety Goals. The goals were originally established in 2002 to help accredited healthcare organizations address patient safety concerns. The goals focus on problems in health care safety and how to solve them. They are developed and updated by the Patient Safety Advisory Group, made up of healthcare professionals with hands-on experience in addressing patient safety issues.

Home Care Safety Goals

  • Improve the accuracy of patient identification.
  • Improve the safety of using medications.
  • Reduce the risk of health care–associated infections.
  • Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls.
  • The organization identifies safety risks inherent in its patient population.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

2013 Private Care Guides Available

The Alliance will begin shipping copies of its new 2013 Guide to Private Home Care Services next week.

The Guide is designed to educate clients and families about their private home care options and to help them choose from our 132 member agencies that accept private pay, including those who have completed our Agency Accreditation Program.  Contents include:

  • Introduction:
    • Understanding What Home Care Is;
    • Understanding the Agency Advantage (New!);
    • Assessing Your Needs;
    • Exploring Payment Options;
    • Knowing About Agency Accreditation;
    • Finding & Interviewing Agencies;
  • Agency Profiles of 132 Private Care Agencies
  • County-By-County Cross Reference

The Alliance will ship copies of the Guide to all members, as well as every hospital case management office, Aging Service Access Point (ASAP), Council on Aging (COA), Geriatric Care Manager (GCM), Veterans’ Center, and dozens of other referral sources. Additional copies are available for order on our website, as is a downloadable PDF versionGuides are always available free of charge with no shipping charges on copies of 50 or less.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Home Care Accreditation Reaches 60 Agencies

The Home Care Alliance is proud to announce that the Home Care Accreditation Program offered to private pay agencies, has now reached 60 providers!

See our press release on this important milestone below:

Home Care Accreditation Program Reaches 60 Agencies

New Stricter Standards for Private Pay Home Care Providers

Boston, MA – With brand new standards that are more stringent to protect patients, improve quality care and promote ethical business practices, the Home Care Accreditation Program offered by the non-profit Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts for private pay home care providers, continues to grow and has now reached it’s 60th agency.

“These new standards for Accreditation raise the bar for agencies, which only can lead to positive things for patients looking to remain independent in their homes,” said Home Care Alliance Executive Director Patricia Kelleher. “We hope the public realizes that this simply isn’t a stamp of approval, but a strong display of our commitment to quality and assurance that these agencies are meeting strict standards. Families deserve that peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the best services out there.”

In the absence of meaningful licensure requirements for providers of home care services in Massachusetts, the Home Care Alliance established this Accreditation Program for Private Pay agencies, which do not receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid.

The standards were developed over several months in consultation with 14 agencies throughout the Commonwealth.  These standards require that agencies submit an application and documentation to the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.  Alliance staff and member agencies then review the application to ensure that applicants meet all of the standards. Recently, the Home Care Alliance’s Board of Directors approved stronger standards that are meant to show the organization’s commitment to maintaining quality services.

Agencies seeking accreditation answer questions in fifteen categories, including training requirements, administrative protocols, and business practices.  They are required to show documentation in answer to questions regarding service plans between clients and the agency, procedures around responding to complaints, and their oversight of caregivers.

“We wanted to provide leadership for an area that is becoming more and more important in Massachusetts,” added Kelleher, “These standards highlight our agencies’ best practices, which will help guide members of the public as they choose who will take care of their loved ones in their homes. We aim to approve as many private care agencies as we possibly can in Massachusetts to prove our state’s commitment to quality home-based care.”

A full list of accredited agencies from across the state, and more information about the Accreditation Program standards, is available at www.thinkhomecare.org/accreditation.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

HCA and Fred C. Church Collaborate on Promotion for WEEI Sports Radio

Thanks to Fred C. Church Insurance, the Home Care Alliance has an ad on WEEI Sports Radio (850-AM) that promotes the Alliance’s member home health agencies and especially the Home Care Accreditation Program for private pay home care agencies.

Hear the ad with the Alliance’s Associate Director Tim Burgers below, which is currently running on WEEI.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Home Care Accreditation Program Reaches Achievement

With 50 private pay home care agencies now approved for the Home Care Accreditation Program, the Home Care Alliance took the opportunity to distribute a media announcement to mark the occasion.

A blurb on the accreditation program milestone has run, so far, in the Milford Daily News and Metrowest Daily News. Please see the full announcement below:

Home Care Accreditation Program Hits Milestone

Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts Program Gains 50th Private Pay Home Care Agency

In less than one year, fifty private pay home care agencies have applied and been approved for a new accreditation program promoting quality, safety, and business standards set by the non-profit Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts

“We have been so pleased with the popularity of this program, which was conceived as a means to promote quality services, ethical business standards, and superior employment practices,” said Home Care Alliance Executive Director Patricia Kelleher. “This isn’t simply a stamp of approval. Private Home Care Accreditation has strict requirements agencies must meet because families have a level of expectation that their loved ones are receiving the best services possible.”

In the absence of meaningful licensure requirements for providers of home care services in Massachusetts, the Home Care Alliance established this Accreditation Program for Private Pay agencies (agencies who are not paid by Medicare or Medicaid).

The standards were developed over several months in consultation with 14 agencies throughout the Commonwealth.  These standards require that agencies submit an application and documentation to the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.  Alliance staff and member agencies then review the application to ensure that applicants meet all of the standards.

Agencies seeking accreditation answer questions in fourteen categories, including training requirements, administrative protocols, and business practices.  They are be required to show documentation in answer to questions regarding services plans between clients and the agency, procedures around responding to complaints, and their oversight of caregivers.

“We wanted to provide leadership for an area that is becoming more and more important in Massachusetts,” added Kelleher, “These standards will highlight our agencies’ best practices, which will help guide members of the public as they choose who will take care of their loved ones in their homes. We hope to one day sign up all private care agencies we possibly can in Massachusetts to prove our state’s commitment to quality home-based care.”

A full list of accredited agencies from across the state, and more information about the Accreditation Program standards, is available at www.thinkhomecare.org/accreditation.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.