Handbook of Home Health Care Administration Marilyn D. Harris. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publications, 1 994; 731 pages, hardcover.
Handbook of Home Health Care Administration is a comprehensive text covering critical areas of need for those in home health care administration. The book also is geared to individuals who want to have a better understanding of the evolving health care system. The book is organized into 10 parts. In part one an overview of home health administration is presented along with the reasons for the outstanding growth in home health care.
Part ? of the book presents standards for home health agencies. In chapter three of this section, Medicare conditions for participation are discussed thoroughly. One chapter focuses on the Joint Commission Home Care QCAHO) standards. Unfortunately, the standards are outdated due to the new JCAHO criteria that went into effect January 1995. However, a review of the previous JCAHO criteria can be beneficial in understanding the evolution of the accreditation process.
In part ?, the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) is outlined. CHAP is considered to be instrumental in ensuring the quality of health care for those using the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The remaining chapters present discussion on the National Home Caring Council's philosophy on hospice care; the certificate of need and licensure; potential strategies for certification; the relationships between home health agencies and the State Trade Association; and the function and future of the National Association of Home Care. Part III is a generally strong section in this book.
Part III, Clinical Issues, presents a series of chapters centering around the issues of documentation and patient classification in home health agencies. Clinical cases of divergent origins are outlined in this section. Although the chapters are well written, the rationale for the inclusion of these particular writings is not clear to the reader.
Quality assessment and continuous improvement are the foci for Part IV. In this section, authors provide the administrative viewpoint of quality assessment and improvement; program evaluations; outcomes of care; and discussion on the usefulness of critical pathways. These chapters are important and interesting resources for home health care administrators.
Fart V, Management Issues in Home Health Administration, presents a variety of topics that essentially concern staff development, observations about referral resources and policy trends in longterm care.
In Parts VI and VU, a discussion of financial, legal, ethical and political issues is presented. These readings add considerable variety and provide useful approaches for those working in home care.
Strategic planning, marketing and survival issues are presented in Part VIII. All of these areas are of prime concern to today's home care administrator. Diversification and reorganization are frequent responses to the challenges currently facing home care providers. Part VIII will be helpful to administrators planning innovative strategies for survival and/or expansion in the present political climate affecting all areas of health care.
A variety of topics such as grant process, writing for publication, agency volunteers and the role of the physician in home care, are covered in Part IX. Also, the relationships highlighted are those of the appeal process and the roles of the Medicare Fiscal and Regional Intermediaries. A discussion of research and hospice care complete the reading selections in Part DC.
In Part X, The Future of Home Care, the reader is reminded that values must guide management of the home care environment. Surviving and thriving in the home health arena are the final topics in the book. The author concludes that administrators who integrate the knowledge presented can be confident of carrying out multifaceted responsibilities and also better guide staff in running the agency while the administrator is away.
In its multitude of offerings, the Handbook of Home Health Care Administration is both informative and comprehensive. Content that is missing from the book and would be helpful include an in-depth guidance to costing out health care services, consideration of educational trends in nursing, and the updated JCAHO criteria. Also, there needs to be more of a balance between home health providers versus the visiting nurse agencies.
This book is highly recommended for home health administrators, and those aspiring to be administrators. Graduate students in both nursing and business will find the readings most beneficial to their professional development.