After a decision made by the Highland District Hospital Board of Governors, the hospital announced Tuesday that effective immediately Home Health Services of Highland District Hospital will no longer be accepting new patient referrals, and will close indefinitely once care is concluded to all current patients.
The agency has been a steadfast resource for care since opening its doors in 1995, even receiving multiple Elite recognitions and distinctions among other home health care agencies nationwide throughout its years of service, a news release from Highland District Hospital said.
“This decision was very hard. We appreciate the extraordinary care given to patients by our skilled and hardworking staff,” said Randal Lennartz, HDH president and CEO. “Home health services is nationally plagued with issues of decreased reimbursement for services from insurance companies and Medicare, alike. Unfortunately, the expert care we give is not met with the level of reimbursement for services needed to sustain the service line.”
The first two priorities of the organization is to ensure all affected employees continue their employment within the organization, and also to ensure that patient care is not interrupted.
“Our employees will remain with us — their employment is a top priority. Similarly, our current patients will continue to receive care from us until their care episode ends,” said Tim Parry, HDH vice president of operations.
Care will continue to be issued in the patient’s home until their scheduled and approved visits are completed. Any patient needing services beyond that will be reassigned to an agency of their choice.
“We are grateful to the employees who have worked tirelessly to allow patients within our community the opportunity to age in place and receive care within their homes,” Lennartz said. “The level of service provided to those patients is unmatched and will always be recognized as a crucial care gap bridged to our community.”
Submitted by Ashlee D. Cheesbro, marketing manager, Highland District Hospital.