It’s been two years since Gulfside Hospice added home health to its medical services and updated its name to Gulfside Healthcare Services. And what an amazing two years it has been.
The need in Pasco and Pinellas counties for home health has been explosive, especially this past year during COVID, when so many people have been restricted to their homes.
“Because of COVID, some of the requirements for home health services have been relaxed, and more people than ever have qualified for help,” said Michael Griffiths, manager of business development for Gulfside Home Health.
Griffiths explains that his team’s number one goal is provide patients with in-home skilled nursing and therapies to help them recover as quickly and safely as possible, while keeping them out of the hospital.
“There are many advantages of taking care of someone in their home,” said Griffiths. “Patients are more comfortable at home, family is there for support, and no transportation is needed because our health care providers come to them.”
Griffiths adds that home care especially helps with patients who easily get confused in unfamiliar places, which is common toward the end of day when people with memory problems suffer from sun-downing effects.
“We plan our visits around a client’s schedule. Families choose a time that is best for them,” said Griffiths, who added that most appointments are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Gulfside’s nursing staff provides wound care, injections, IV infusions, pain management and medication oversight. Other licensed professionals offer physical, occupational and speech therapies. At Gulfside Home Health, therapists are employees and not contract workers, which means patients typically see the same nurses and therapists throughout their care.
“It’s this continuity of care that sets us apart,” said Griffiths.
Most patients receive home health services for three to eight weeks, and typically are referred by physicians and assisted living facilities. Referrals also are accepted directly from patients and their families by completing a quick form on Gulfside’s website.
“If you complete our online questionnaire, which takes just a few minutes, we get back to you within 24 hours,” Griffiths says. “Our staff is cross-trained to assess whether the need is home health, palliative care or hospice, which means only one appointment is needed to get things started.”
Gulfside Home Health began accepting patients in the spring of 2019, and its caseload expanded quickly because of the outstanding reputation of Gulfside Hospice. It has doubled the number of home health patients in the past year, and anticipates seeing its census grow to 200 patients by the end of the year.
“Gulfside is the gold standard provider of choice for hospice care in Pasco County, and this high standard absolutely extends to its Home Health division,” said Griffiths.
Gulfside has outstanding results for its clients, much better than the national average. Most impressive is it 30-Day Re-Hospitalization Rate of 0%, compared to almost 13% nationally. An Info Box included with this story give more impressive comparisons.
Most costs are covered by Medicare or private insurance. Major insurance companies that Gulfside accepts, in addition to Medicare, are United, Humana and WellCare insurance programs. If cost or coverage is a concern, the Gulfside team also is available to work with patients on coverage options to ensure everyone who needs care, gets it.
When To Call Home Health
– Recent discharge from hospital or rehab center
– Multiple diagnoses, such as diabetes, cardiac and pulmonary
– Changes in medication that require management/education
– Patients who frequently call their doctors
Go to Gulfside.org/submit-a-referral.
Gulfside Home Health Compared to Nat Avg
30-Day Re-Hospitalization Rate
- Gulfside: 0%
- National Average: 12.9%
60-Day Re-Hospitalization Rate
- Gulfside: 13%
- National Average: 18%
Wound Healing Rate
- Gulfside: 99.4%
- National Average: 93%
Average Number of Weekly Visits the Patient Receives
- Gulfside: 3
- National Average: 1.5
Average Length of Time on Service
- Gulfside: 37 days
- National Average: 54 days
Published June 16, 2021