Wednesday, October 10, 2012

St. Luke’s to provide home services

Medicare-certified program to open today

Express Staff Writer

Starting today, Oct. 10, St. Luke’s will provide home health care to people who would rather spend the final stages of their recovery at home rather than remain at the hospital. St. Luke’s announced this week that its Home Care program has opened a branch office at the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Clinic in Hailey.

According to a company news release, St. Luke’s Home Care is Medicare-certified to provide skilled nursing and rehabilitation services under the direction of patients’ physicians. The services also include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, nutritional counseling, respiratory therapy and home health aide services. The program will not offer hospice services.

According to the release, St. Luke’s Home Care has been providing home health services for almost 30 years in the Boise area, 10 years in McCall and six years in Twin Falls.

Mary Lou Long, St. Luke’s director of home care, said the program is a means of offering “a continuum of care” as patients transition home.

Various alternatives for custodial home care have previously been available, but not for the services that the St. Luke’s program will provide. Representatives from the Senior Connection and Safe Haven Health Care—a Pocatello-based firm that also provides home care services to the valley—say the St. Luke’s program will complement the area’s existing options.

“We don’t provide home medical services,” Senior Connection Executive Director Kim Coonis said. “We assist with long-term, all-day home care. I think the programs will integrate well together.”

Coonis said the St. Luke’s program is geared toward providing medical services in the short-term, while the Senior Connection has provided home care to some of its patients for almost 10 years.

Scott Burpee, president and CEO of Safe Haven, said it would be “very welcome on our part” if St. Luke’s provided home health services to his company’s patients. Burpee said the more services the valley has, the “merrier,” because people will have to leave the valley less to find what they are looking for.

Safe Haven—which already operates a small senior-care facility in Bellevue—is in the process of building a new senior-care facility to serve the Wood River Valley.

“Welcome aboard, St. Luke’s!” he said.

Brennan Rego:

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