Oregon hospital to restructure home health services

John Day, Ore.-based Blue Mountain Hospital District's board of directors unanimously voted to restructure home health services, according to The Blue Mountain Eagle.

Hospital officials are working on a plan to increase reimbursement for home health services, which are currently provided by certified nursing assistants who work for the home health department. 

Under the new plan, nurses from the hospital district's Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic would provide home health services.

The change to the visiting nurse service would enable the hospital to bill Medicare, Medicaid and other payers for time spent traveling to see patients in far away areas in the county in addition to time spent caring for patients, which it cannot do under the current model, according to the report.

Last year, the district lost $380,000 in the home health department. Moving to the new structure would eradicate "almost all of the losses we are currently experiencing in home health," CEO Cam Marlowe said in a report to the board.

A virtual nurse service committee will meet to iron out details for the new home health structure, according to The Blue Mountain Eagle.

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