Healthy Heart Habits

What can I do now to have heart healthy habits?

  • Get enough exercise. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.
  • Quit smoking. A smoke-free life improves your circulation, reduces your risk of certain types of cancer, and helps you feel more energetic.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. A diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish and seafood instead of red and processed meats is shown to improve heart health.
  • Watch your numbers. Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and make sure they’re under control with medication.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
  • Watch your weight. Maintain a healthy body weight for your size.
  • Get better sleep. Most experts say that seniors should sleep between seven and nine hours each night. Sleep is beneficial for brain functionality, metabolism, immune functionality and emotional well-being.
  • Reduce stress factors. Stress can compound many heart disease risks that older adults already face, like high blood pressure.

Not sure where to get started with these recommendations?

Medicare recognizes the role of team in managing your health. The services provided under Medicare’s home health benefit is a free service that allows for a comprehensive and collaborative approach with your physician to manage your care.

Ask your physician if a course of home health can be a part of your heart health plan.

Weekly Pulse for February 7, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston2/82/8
Lewiston2/82/8
Moscow2/72/7
Orofino2/72/7
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

It’s Cardiac Awareness Month!

We are taking some time this week to focus on heart healthy habits and ways we can support patients with cardiac disease. Simple tracking tools like measuring blood pressure and logging daily weights are essential for basic health management.

Accessing resources in physical and occupational therapy to maximize endurance to meet daily needs, discuss a healthy diet plan with a medical dietitian, and identify community resources with a social worker to support health goals are all integrated services of home health.

If you have a patient who is struggling with a health regimen for their cardiac health, speak with your liaison about a course of home health.

Question Corner

What are basic diagnosis rules for home health services?

Identify the disease process causing the symptom

The patient may be weak, but what is causing the weakness? The patient may show disinterest in eating, but is this behavior related to loss of taste and appetite associated with aging and dementia?

Stating the disease process in your referral and your face-2-face creates a picture of the disease we are treating, not the symptom or the resulting behavior.

Specificity and Laterality matter

The patient may have arthritis, but where? Left side? Right side? Knee? Hip? Shoulder? 

The more information, the better!

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Jana (509) 220-6766

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

February is Cardiac Awareness Month!

Heart disease can occur in anyone, but research tells us that there are certain behaviors and conditions that are more likely to lead to heart disease.

Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, these deaths are highly preventable when individuals engage in heart healthy behaviors and engage with their physicians for disease management.

Many people believe that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) inevitably comes with old age, there are many things that seniors can do to strengthen their heart and circulatory system.

Home health is an integrative approach that combines the medical treatments prescribed by your physician with specializations in physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical dietitians, and skilled nurses to create regimens and systems in your home as part of your disease management.

Weekly Pulse for January 31, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston1/312/1
Lewiston1/312/1
Moscow1/311/31
Orofino1/311/31
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

Here is to healthy eyes!  Working with individuals who have lost their vision or are losing their ability to see means that part of our interventions have to proactively address systems to aid in independent living. Our goal in home health is to meet the patient where they are and support them in their goals. We do this in home health and in hospice to partner with each patient and family in an unique way. Thank you for joining us this month in learning about eye health and supporting our patients.

Question Corner

What home health services are available?

What if I don’t order a discipline that my patient needs?

 Home Health services are available for:

 * nursing,

* physical therapy,

* occupational therapy,

* speech-language pathology,

* medical social work,

* home health aides, and

* consultative medical dietitian.

The case manager for your patient may decide that additional services are needed. You will receive a request for an order with a clinical rationale for the service. If you have additional questions, you are welcome to reach out to the case manager and ask.

Our goal is to identify the team members that will best meet the patient’s needs in their current situation. This need is expected to change over time. The services we provide in home health reflect our patient’s changing condition.

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Jana (509) 220-6766

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

Weekly Pulse for January 24, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston1/251/25
Lewiston1/261/25
Moscow1/241/24
Orofino1/241/24
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

The omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to present challenges in our community. Elite has proactively made several moves to support ongoing services and minimize community spread. All clinical staff that is able to will be wearing N95 masks as part of standard PPE. We are doing this for the protection of patients and staff to actively reduce risk of spread. We are also triaging patients that may be at higher risk for hospitalization by engaging our Green Light, Yellow Light, and Red Light system for COVID awareness. This engages our Call Nurse First initiative to reduce unnecessary Emergency Department visits. With the challenges from COVID, we are still actively targeting a 48-hour turnaround from receipt of referral. Please ensure home health and hospice referrals are complete to allow for an immediate start of care. Any missing information will cause delays.

Question Corner

Will I be informed if my patient is not admitted?

YES! You will receive a call from us to let you know if your patient was not admitted onto services. This call is to inform you of the reasons why. Many times your voice is what the patient needs to hear in order to start services. We try to keep you informed, so you can discuss with your patient the plans for comprehensive treatment. We also want you to know that we will not have ongoing monitoring and a different treatment plan may be needed. Let us know how we can support you and your referrals in this process.

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Jana (509) 220-6766

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605

Weekly Pulse for January 10, 2022

Home Health (Therapy) Start DateHospice (Nursing) Start Date
Clarkston1/111/11
Lewiston1/121/12
Moscow1/131/12
Orofino1/121/11
***Start Dates are contingent on receiving a complete referral***

Clinical Focus

Hospitalizations are a focus point for home health services. At admission, we review risk factors for re-hospitalization and build a treatment program around those elements. Considerations are made for age, primary diagnosis, prior/recent hospitalizations, frailty indicators, fall history, changes in cognition, polypharmacy, and current living situation/caregiver supports. Information requests for additional documentation, including lab work, helps support identifying additional risk factors.

Elite’s current rehospitalization rate is 11.7%. We are driven to keep this rate low. One of our programs is Call Nurse First which patients are introduced to on admit. This system supports critical patient needs with the availability of a nurse 24/7 through our office number (509) 758-2568.

People to know

Clarkston Liaison – Jana (509) 220-6766

Lewiston Liaison – Beth (509) 254-1381

Moscow & Orofino Liaison – Scott (509) 234-3102

Business Development – Ashley (509) 843-7605