Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Sept. 30, 2005

Oswego County Health Department Does Well in Medicare Outcomes Survey

The Oswego County Health Department's Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) exceeded all state and national standards in an extensive survey that was recently released by the federal government.

The Medicare comparison measures 10 types of quality care for patients that receive in-home health care. The report compares patients' abilities to perform basic daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, taking medication, and move around independently. The report also looks at patients' overall recovery and their need to be re-admitted to a hospital.

The Oswego County CHHA was rated highest in four categories and tied for highest in a fifth category.

"This is attributable to the professionalism and skilled care of our staff," said Kathleen Smith, Commissioner of Health Services. "The health department's public health nursing service has a long history in Oswego County, dating back to the 1960s. For many years the health department offered the only home care services in the county."

The purpose of the survey is to help consumers judge the quality of care that an agency provides. Medicare compares the patients' outcomes among agencies that are certified to provide in-home health care.

"All of these functions are important because health care providers should be encouraging a patient to do as much as possible in caring for themselves. The goal of Oswego County's home health care program is rehabilitation, so that the patient resumes an independent life," Smith added.

In-home health care is often ordered by a physician following a patient's surgery or hospital stay. The Oswego County Health Department's in-home health care staff offers physical and occupational therapy, intravenous or nutrition therapy, surgical wound care, and other services to help patients recover and get back on their feet.

For more information, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3548 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3548, or visit the Medicare website at www.Medicare.gov.

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