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Yes, they make house calls

Linda Burdno knows firsthand the benefits of Boulder City Hospital’s Home Health Agency. Even though she has worked in this field for a number of years, it wasn’t until she used its services that she truly learned the value of the service.

A registered nurse and manager of the agency, she utilized in-home therapy and was back on her feet seven days after having both hips replaced a year ago.

While her situation may not be typical, there are many aspects to a home health agency that can promote a person’s recovery, she said.

The agency has been a component of the hospital for years, but is unfamiliar to many in the community who could benefit from services such as skilled nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy, the expertise of a medical social worker and the assistance of a certified nursing assistant or home health aide.

Generally, a doctor prescribes a home health regimen following a hospitalization. Burdno said there are many aspects to home health that can promote a person’s recovery.

According to the hospital’s website, Home Health “spans a wide range of in-home medical services. With the exception of emergent and surgical care, most patient-care activities performed at a hospital can be offered” by Home Health in a person’s home.

Burdno said it is also a patient’s prerogative to decide on a specific home health provider and he or she can always ask to be served by Boulder City Hospital’s agency.

Home Health is covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and Boulder City Hospital honors many insurance plans, according to Burdno.

“A lot of the population (in Boulder City) doesn’t even know their insurance covers home health. All they have to do is call us and ask,” Burdno said.

When Burdno became Home Health manager in June 2011 she instituted marketing efforts, increasing the patient count to the current census of about 40 clients at any one time. To properly serve these clients, Burdno has a staff of 15 that primarily serves Boulder City but also sees patients in Henderson and Las Vegas. The program is seeking registered nurses and certified nursing assistants to serve additional clients.

Burdno emphasized the importance of in-home health care with regard to keeping people in their homes and eliminating the need for trips to a hospital or medical office. She added that seniors are not the only recipients of in-home health care services. Young people or anyone needing assistance that can’t be provided by a family member could be a candidate.

From a periodic evaluation performed by Medicare, Boulder City Hospital’s Home Health program receives high marks, as reported by HomeHealthCareAgencies.com. The evaluation data between April 2012 through March 2013 reported a number of findings including: patient care beginning on time, 95 percent of the time; caregivers check on a patient’s risk of falling, 100 percent; patients checked for depression, 98 percent; and patients treated for pain, 99 percent.

For Burdno, work practiced consistently by all professionals in the unit is one factor making the agency function as well as it does. “Once you treat the people right here in this community, they will stay with you, and why staff is all about that.”

Burdno is lavish with her praise for the staff and said, “I’m loving my job.”

Boulder City Hospital’s Home Health can be reached at 702-293-2332 and operates a 24-hour answering service, available seven days a week. Patients also can ask their attending physicians about the services offered through Home Health. For more information, visit http://bchcares.org/services/home-health.

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Ron Eland/Boulder City Review

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