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

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Feb. 26, 2007

Oswego County Health Department Exceeds All Standards in Medicare Survey

The Oswego County Health Department's Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) has once again exceeded all state and national standards in an extensive survey that was recently released by the federal government. The agency is also ranked among the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified home health care providers in the U.S. by OCS, Inc., a healthcare information company that reviewed quality, improvement and financial performance measures.

The Medicare survey compares several factors that measure the quality of in-home care that patients receive. The Oswego County CHHA was ranked highest in four of the 10 categories among the agencies that provide in-home care in Oswego County.

“The fact that our County Health Department continues to be ranked among the top in the state and the nation is a real tribute to all of our staff, and I congratulate them for an excellent job,” said County Legislator Jerry Thomas of Sandy Creek, chairman of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee. “The surveys are important because they look at all agencies that are certified by Medicare to provide in-home health care in Oswego County. It's important for families to be able to compare the quality of in-home care that patients receive.”

“Our ability to achieve this ranking is a credit to our dedicated staff in all the nursing divisions, and the other contract providers, including home health aides and therapists,” said Public Health Director Kathleen Smith. “We have worked very hard over the years to assure that our agency was giving the very best care available, and using the most modern and up-to-date therapies and treatment guidelines. Our nurses and therapists have been devoted to the pursuit of better outcomes for our patients. The department participated in the very first pilot project that looked at patient outcomes, so our expertise has really grown to be the best.”

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.

“We applaud the success of all the providers named to the 2006 HomeCare Elite,” said Bill Bassett, Senior Director of Market Strategy at OCS, Inc. “Being noted as one of the top performers in the nation in this very competitive environment shows that the Oswego County Health Department is dedicated to quality and performance.”

The data compares patients' abilities to perform basic daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, taking medication, and moving around independently. It also looks at patients' overall recovery and their need to be re-admitted to a hospital. The data also helps providers plan for ways that they can reduce return trips to the hospital and other complications that could require hospitalization.

In addition to Legislator Thomas, members of the Health and Human Services Committee include vice chairwoman Kim Seager, District 10, Phoenix; Fred Beardsley, District 9, Central Square; Shawn Doyle, District 3, Pulaski; Arthur Gearsbeck, District 6, Hastings; Leonard Ponzi, District 17, Oswego; and Paul Santore, District 16, Oswego.

For more information on post-hospitalization care provided by the Oswego County Certified Home Health Agency, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3548 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3548. For information on the data compiled through the health agency performance evaluations, visit the OCS, Inc. Web site at www.ocsys.com, or the Medicare Web site at www.Medicare.gov.

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