In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred “Obamacare,” has had quite a lot of Americans talking about it. I find that most people are not even quite sure as to what the bill actually does and who it actually affects. Due to this lack of clarity, I sought out to answer their, and, truth be told, my, questions about this statute. (more…)


Today, I feel the need to share with you all some information that just about anyone with a pulse can find helpful. For once, we aren’t talking about prevention or treatment of illness; but instead, we’re tackling the middle ground. What do you do when you or the person you are caring for gets sick, and how can you get the most out of your time with a physician?

1) Don’t be afraid to come off like a complete dork. Prior research and notepads are 100 percent acceptable. When I went to doctor’s appointments as a child, particularly when it was with a specialist of some sort, my dad would always bring along a notepad if he happened to accompany me on the visit. At first, I thought it was completely unnecessary and made him seem a little over-prepared. As it would turn out, there is no such thing as being over-prepared when it comes to your health and you will most likely forget more than half of what your doctor said to you if you don’t take the time to put it in writing. You might also find this helpful if you choose to follow up with another doctor and they ask for details from your other visit. Also asking questions based on information you looked up regarding your diagnosis might inspire a solution, so don’t feel like a know-it-all or like you’re offending your physician when you ask them.

2) Write down your symptoms, which medications you have been treating them with (if any) as well as what time you last took them. This is something I wish I had started doing earlier because sometimes a trip to the doctor can get you flustered and you may forget to mention a symptom that could be key to properly diagnosing you. Also, if you’ve ever taken ibuprofen for a fever right before going in for an appointment, you know as well as I do that there was probably no fever for them to record, so they would have needed to know that you had one, what it was, and how you had been treating it. As doctors, their time is precious and it helps to cut to the chase rather than waste half of your appointment guessing at what the problem is when they could probably figure it out with a brief examination and a concise list of symptoms.

3) Piggybacking off of the notepad anecdote, it is so vitally important that you bring in a list of questions you might have. This is especially true if you are given a prescription or need to follow up with some sort of medical procedure. I have to give my mom a shout out for this one because for years she did it for me and inevitably, I would always forget to ask the questions and she would be my safety net. All of you adults out are most likely going by yourselves or have a lot going on that might prevent you from remembering to ask the burning questions you had before you got distracted by the white coat and the stethoscope. So do yourselves a favor on this one, write them down and ask them even if they sound stupid to you. I promise, they won’t think any less of you for being cautious with your health care.

4) Finally, and most importantly, keep a current record or list of what medications you are taking including the name, what you take it for, and when/how frequently you take it. Do the same thing for your medical history and allergies. This is so important because unfortunately, mistakes can definitely happen when reading charts and a misinformed patient does not help the situation. If you can tell your doctor exactly what medications you are on, they can be sure that your prescriptions don’t interact with one another and that your course of treatment will help you, not hurt you. Having your full history on hand with you can also help them address a potentially bigger problem instead of unintentionally writing it off and finding out when it’s too late that you had the same condition that one of your family members might have suffered with.

If you do all of these things now, props to you; you’re already a better patient than I am!If you don’t, take these words into serious consideration and become the smartest patient you can be!

 


What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health care program for families and individuals who do not have sufficient income or resources to pay for health care.
How does it differ from Medicare?
As the names are so similar, the two are easily confused. Medicare covers seniors, and people with long-term disabilities who have exhausted their Medicaid entitlement. Medicaid is a means-tested program. It is designed to help people on a low income to pay for health care costs, regardless of age.
Medicare is a federal program, Medicaid is a joint federal and state run program. Currently all 50 states participate in the Medicaid program, but each state may set its own eligibility requirements. As a result, Medicaid eligibility requirements and provisions vary somewhat from state to state.
What does Medicaid cover?
Medicaid may cover the full cost of a variety of medical services including:

  • inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • doctor visits
  • lab tests and X-rays
  • nursing home and home health care
  • preventative medicine

For seniors and people with a long-term disability, Medicaid may also cover Medicare expenses such as premiums, deductibles, and co-payments.
Am I eligible?
To apply for Medicare you must be a US citizen or permanent resident. To meet the low income criteria, your household income should be less than 133% of the federal poverty line. In addition, you must fall within one of the eligibility categories. These can vary state to state, but generally include:

  • low income children below a certain age
  • parents of Medicaid-eligible children who meet certain income requirements
  • low-income seniors
  • pregnant women
  • people with certain disabilities

How do I check my eligibility and apply?
To start the process, visit the government web site: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid.asp. There you will find an “insurance and coverage finder”, which will help you to determine if you are eligible.
Contact your local Medicaid office. They will provide the necessary paperwork for you to complete and return. They will usually need your name, address, proof of income, and bank account balances. They will also require social security numbers from you and your family members. You may be asked to provide details of additional assets. Once they have received a complete application, they will inform you of your eligibility.
If you are eligible, you will receive a Medicaid health insurance card. You can now receive your free health care benefits! Remember to call ahead to make sure that your provider accepts Medicaid, and always carry your card with you.


Do you know someone who has multiple sclerosis? Do you have multiple sclerosis? Watch this inspiring video below of people living with multiple sclerosis, click the LINK.
CLICK HERE
 
 


As you age, it’s very important to take proper care of your skin. From putting sunscreen on, to not staying in the sun for long periods of time, there are many different healthy and beneficial tips to prevent skin damage.
CLICK the link below to find out some more useful tips on protecting your skin and keeping it healthy!
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-care/SN00003
 


Catholic Health Services is currently in the process of filming a few of our locations to provide YOU with new tours to experience while visiting our website.

Be on the lookout for an announcement for when the videos will be available via catholichealthservices.org!


Catholic Health Services is one of the top Home Health Care Agencies in Florida. Providing a wide range of services to meet the needs of individuals medical and personal care home health aid service is the way to go. Not only are your medical and personal needs addressed, but it is done by professional, caring individuals dedicated to helping those in need whether it is in the home, hospital, retirement or assisted living. With the many types of services that are offered in the home, checking to see what we have to offer is a must.
Just a sample of the types of services provided by home health skilled nursing:
• Short term for new medication teaching, skilled medication administration such as intravenous therapy, pain medication management, and injections
• Wound assessment and care is an especially important service when it is needed for long term. Home dialysis may be another option for some individuals.
• Postpartum and new baby
• Catheter care and maintenance
• Ventilator and tracheotomy care needed in the home.
• ADLs by home health aides (baths, personal care, etc.)
• Blood draws for lab,
• Diabetic Care
Besides the services of skilled nursing and nursing aide, home health Miami and other areas offer other types of services in the home such as physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
With a wealth of home health services, we can manage your medical needs in an environment that is familiar to you. Having people that love and support you during your time of need increases the quality of life that you live today. Be sure to check our www.catholichealthservices.org to see how we can help you today!


 

Taking care of elderly family members can be an overwhelming responsibility and many times caregivers end up taking on more than they can physically or mentally handle. That is why there are Assisted Living Miami locations to help take away the burden of providing around the clock care while placing your loved one in a home where they can be professionally cared for and free to live out their golden years in peace and happiness.
What do Assisted Living Miami Facilities have to Offer?
Catholic Health Services Assisted Living Miami facilities are excellent places for seniors to live in peace and comfort. These apartments feature stylish furniture and beautiful home décor with private bedrooms and bathrooms. Emergency call systems are installed in every home so that help will always be available at the push of a button. Assisted Living Miami facilities allow seniors to continue living their active lives with the assistance of a quality trained medical team whenever they need it.
Catholic Health Services Guidelines for Admission
In order to live at the CHS Assisted Living Miami location, new residents have to be able to perform supervised ADLs or activities of daily living. They will need to be free of any communicable disease symptoms and they do not need supervision of a nurse 24/7. The individuals who live at this facility need to be able to participate in community activities, should not be completely bed-ridden and they should not be a danger to themselves or other people who live in the community.


 

Our Florida Cemeteries At A Glance
As a very integral and ongoing part of the ministries of the Archdiocese of Miami to the South Florida community, we take great pride in offering our two Florida cemeteries: Our Lady Queen of Heaven in Broward County and Our Lady of Mercy in Miami-Dade County.
Being officially consecrated in 1959, these two most cherished and sacred facilities continue with their ministry to the South Florida community. Each spacious burial ground and landscape area has been designed in a spirit of dignity, compassion and integrity as Mass is celebrated on a regular basis by spiritually trained personnel from the Archdiocese.
On the 125 acres of each splendidly designed landscape are found burials grounds for interment, mausoleums, lawn crypts and cremation niches. Amidst beautiful gardens that are very appropriate for silent meditation and reflective strolls, our two Catholic Florida cemeteries represent the noblest part of all of us.
Catholic Cemeteries, A Vital Part of Catholic Health Services
Our Florida cemeteries form part of the prestigious and expansive Catholic Health Services system; moreover, our two South Florida cemeteries and facilities work hand-in-hand with Catholic Hospices services. Our especially sensitive services are provided in an environment of qualified professional expertise, compassion, love and respect for men of all races, creeds or religious backgrounds.
Catholic Health Services is an award-winning full-service, comprehensive healthcare system that services over 6,000 people daily. Having over 30 facilities throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Catholic Health Services is the premier Catholic healthcare provider in South Florida, and is the largest post acute provider in the south east.


Senior citizens now have a longer life expectancy and better quality of life then previous generations. Healthy eating and exercise habits when compared with modern advancements in medicine, have helped people feel and look much younger than they are.Healthcare studies, such as Franklin Street’s Healthcare Marketing Trends Reports, reveal that over 60% of adults see themselves as youthful. The study also concludes that with the increased amount of people living a healthy and active lifestyle, older people can expect to live as long as 90 years old. Their renewed vibrancy has also spread into their career aspirations, since 70% of the Baby Boomer generation want to work after the age of 65 instead of retiring.
Cultural anthropologists have coined the phrase “down-aging” to describe the trend of active and healthy older people that are still knowledgeable about current events and pop culture. Down-aging has significant impact for companies focusing on that sector of the market or demographic and many healthcare industries. This change in how senior citizens perceive themselves and how they interact with the world can dramatically change how healthcare services are marketed and shared with Baby Boomers.
Increased knowledge about growing trends with Baby Boomers can help healthcare companies understand their needs and the best way to reach them through their marketing efforts. Studies, focus groups, and other forms of research can help health care agencies, providers, and other parties involved in the healthcare industry find prime avenues for communicating with older people and determining the right message.
Catholic Health Services offers many different services, from Miami health care, assisted living facilities, home health aid, at home health care, transitional care, and in home care services.


Choosing assisting living facilities can be a very important decision in life. Catholic Health Services can provide at home health care, transitional care, child care services, and even inpatient services at a medical rehabilitation center. In home care services can help you recover from an accident or illness, and this can also be care that is provided for anyone that needs end of life care also.A ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami provides these services for those in the Miami and surrounding area. Patient care is a top priority and skilled nursing care is provided in the many facilities and also for home care.
A home health aid can come into the home and provide care that a family may not be able to provide. This can allow someone to stay in their home where they are comfortable. Patients are shown the best care and compassion with a trained professional in the home.
There are a variety of health care services that you can access with Catholic Health Services. There is often a great solution that we can help you uncover for your unique situation. This can help you make sure that you or a loved one will receive the best care possible.


On my way into the office (Catholic Health Services) I noticed some co-workers standing around looking at a lonely abandoned kitten.  When I approached the kitty, he was skittish, crying and looking back at me.  I put my stuff down and grabbed my secret stash of dog and cat food and I went outside.
I opened the can and sat on the ground and coaxed the kitty to come to me.
April, a co-worker, named him Isaac after the tropical storm that was on its way. After Isaac filled his little belly, he ran off and April and I spoke more of what we needed to do for him.  April left to get a kitty carrier and I called Cat Exclusive.
It took a bit to get Isaac to come back, but I broke Isaac’s fear with kisses and warmth and not to mention he knew I was the one with the hidden stash of food.  April took Isaac to the vet, a wonderful place called Cat Exclusive in Margate on Atlantic Blvd. April was going to have him chipped, clipped and vaccinated and try to find him a good home.  But by pure God, Cat Exclusive called April stating they had fallen in love with sweet Isaac and wanted to keep him.  Isaac would now have a safe home as the mascot of Cat Exclusive.
Cat Exclusive is filled to capacity and need homes for the cats they have….I hope you spread the word of this wonderful place and of God’s gifts to those little animals who need good homes.
One day I pray that I can open my own safe shelter and give special gifts to the elderly, the broken and unloved. Meanwhile, we are grateful for Catholic Health Services as they “catch” the elderly and the broken and “hold” them in loving arms of safety, in places they will now call home. We need a place for the animals too.
Again thanks to Cat Exclusive and April for helping me find Isaac a safe home, but I thank Mr. Isaac for allowing me to know him for such a small amount of time. Isaac, it was so my pleasure.


When I first heard about Catholic Health Services, I had no idea what the company was or the services that they provided.  I had the opportunity to have a summer internship so I decided to look into the company and what I found out was amazing.  The company is so much larger than I had thought, with many facilities offering different services. In the beginning, I didn’t think I would be able to relate this internship to my major, Communication Sciences and Disorders, but I found out that some of the facilities offer Speech Therapy! I went to visit St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital and met the head of the Speech Therapy department.  She gave me a lot of information about the service they provide.  Their work is geriatric, meaning they work with older patients.  Most of their patients have lots of speech problems due to health issues such as suffering a Stroke.  What I found very fascinating was that articulation disorders and stuttering is usually only in children.

Speech therapy is only one of the many services that Catholic Health Services provides.  If you would like more information, please visit www.catholicheathservices.org


With countries like Japan facing a rapidly aging population, having more than a quarter of the population being over 65 years old, the burden of having to keep senior care programs funded is one that has really been felt by the working force over the last decade and a half. Since 2001, the cost of health care coverage has more than doubled, which hurt the work force all the more in light of the 2007 global economic recession, forcing more people out of a job and into accepting Medicaid, thus furthering the strain felt on the tax-payers. (more…)


A stroke is no joke. Depending on the severity of a stroke, and/or which hemisphere of the brain the stroke occurs, things such as a person’s perception of size, distance, speed, or overall control of one side of their body could be jeopardized. These aspects of a person’s life are very serious, and all contribute to their “humanity.” (more…)


St John’s Nursing Home is involved in a fantastic opportunity that just kicked off this week, thanks to Diane Stone, Executive Director who applied to participate in a nationwide project, on behalf of St, John’s.  It’s a National Demonstration project to Improve Health Care in nursing homes and St John’s is one of only 17 nursing homes participating from the entire USA!    

We are in good company as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is leading this initiative that hopes to transform the way nursing homes work toward ensuring and improving quality for their residents.  The Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) project will build on the quality assurance programs that nursing homes currently have in place for monitoring and emphasizing ongoing performance improvement.

 St. John’s Nursing Center will participate with 16 other nursing homes in four states, California, Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota, to develop and launch QAPI programs, test technical assistance approaches, and evaluate program implementation. This demonstration will run from September 2011 through August 2013. Demonstration participants will play a key role in helping to shape training materials and resources that will eventually be available to all nursing homes across the country.  It’s a great chance for us to help in nationwide decision making affecting nursing homes and build on our existing Quality Improvement efforts.

 There is a great team already involved in the early stages; we are looking forward to engaging other folks in strategies that can improve quality for our residents.   Further information about the project can be found at http://www.stratishealth.org/pubs/qualityupdate/f11/qapi.html

written by Carol Ann Preston


To many people a good way to understand what a company is all about is by reading its Mission Statement.  Many organizations focus their Mission Statements on their products, services and on how they can make your life easier.

But is that really enough? Does the Mission Statement give you an understanding of what a company is really all about and what they stand for? Not really! It merely touches upon the services or products they provide. (more…)


At 20 years old almost no one thinks about death. However, for some reason after the age of 35, most of us begin to get apprehensive with this concept, perhaps because we have already experienced parenthood and immediately the wellbeing of our children and their safekeeping begins to take priority in our life planning.

It was precisely during that period of my life that I got acquainted with a wonderful organization that has provided me with a new perception of life. God´s will through my life circumstances brought me to this experience. In 2001, I was offered a position at the Public Relations and Events department of Catholic Hospice. At that moment I was in need of employment, but the fact of having the opportunity to work for a Catholic organization, made the different in my decision to accept the challenge. (more…)


It has come to my attention lately that taking care of the elderly is not exactly a popular vocation.  No one says, “I want to take care of old people when I grow up”.  Let’s face it, I’m right.  This is near and dear to my heart because I have been taking care of my mom lately and it is not easy.  She has also gone through several episodes with home health and finding quality Home Health like Catholic Health Services provides is hard. I am also getting older and when you reach middle age and you start taking care of your aging parents you really start to think about what is going to happen to you when you reach that age.  With that question in mind, “What will happen to me when I get old?” I have done some reading and research and the facts aren’t pretty:

  • Baby boomers are getting old and the number of elderly is increasing at a rapid pace. Several articles tell us that by 2030 the number of Americans over 65 is expected to nearly double. 
  • A WebMD Health News article By Todd Zwillich states that schools are not training enough nurses and doctors on how to care for the old. It also states that workers such as nurses’ aides and home health workers continue to be undertrained and underpaid. 
  • Reimbursement for some Medicare providers is sometimes so low it is below cost.  According to “Medicare Reimbursement Information” Health Care Economist, August 31, 2009, downloaded from http://healthcare-economist.com/2009/08/31/medicare-reimbursement-information-i/  on February 18, 2010 – the Medicare reimbursement is 80% of the schedule amount for most physician services.  Based on statements such as these finding a provider is not going to get easier.

Based on my reading the elderly are growing in numbers while the providers of care for that demographic are not.  Those that would consider going into the industry face low wages and not enough training.  What can we do to help solve this issue? 

At Catholic Health Services (CHS) we have had a couple of programs geared toward incentivizing students toward this industry:

  1. We have a highly successful doctoral level fellowship in geriatric physical therapy in partnership with University of Miami that we started years ago at our St. Catherine’s Rehabilitation Hospitals.
  2. In 2009 we started a program at our St. Anne’s Nursing Center facility with Career Learning Centers to develop our nursing staff.  We had employees that wanted to get their nursing certifications and needed a place close to home where they could pursue this. 

On the internet I read a great article in the RN Journal that told about a program in Minneapolis a few years ago created by The College of St. Catherine, Catholic Eldercare and Saint Therese New Hope, both partners in Catholic Senior Services. They wanted to pioneer an on-site nursing education program that they hoped would attract more students to the long-term-care field. The goal was to educate more nurses with real world, applied learning experience, so they would become more fully equipped for that first job.  It was written by John Wingate, Wingategroup.com http://www.rnjournal.com/journal_of_nursing/shortage_of_long_term_care_nurses.htm   According to this article the program really inspired students to want to do this work.

We have to get creative folks.  Concepts like the examples above are what we need to help us motivate people to go into this industry.  Please, if you have any ideas about what can be done, write us and tell us about it.


What can we do to incentivize people to go into this field?  How do we get the government to understand that without these professionals we are in serious trouble?  (more…)