Amedisys Presents Industry-Leading Care Transitions Program to Health Care Leaders

BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Representatives from Baton Rouge-based Amedisys, Inc. today presented a webinar on the importance of coordinating care from the hospital to a home care setting. The webinar, "Making Care Transitions a Reality Through Home Health," highlighted Amedisys' pioneering program, Care Transitions, and was made to Home Health Quality Improvement National Campaign (HHQI) participants and supporters. Amedisys is a leading home health care and hospice company in the U.S., providing care to more than 35,000 patients every day.

Tasha Mears, RN, BSN, Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations with Amedisys, and Beverly Taylor, an Amedisys Care Transitions Coordinator in Lawrenceville, Ga., described how the Care Transitions program begins in the hospital, after the home health referral but prior to patient discharge, and continues throughout the period of home health care, creating a stronger continuum of patient care. This care continuum is designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions and create self-managing and educated patients who are better able to take control of their health condition(s).

Launched in April 2010, Care Transitions is offered to patients at all 600 Amedisys Care Centers nationwide and overseen by Care Transitions Coordinators, all of whom are licensed clinicians. Elements of the program include: Educating patients about managing their chronic condition(s) prior to hospital discharge and throughout their care Working with patients to ensure effective communication with their physicians and health care providers Teaching patients how to self assess and track their health data, allowing them to determine when action needs to be taken Setting personal health goals and building action plans to make changes in their life and health Creating a realistic medication management system Ensuring physician follow-up appointments "Care Transitions is the ideal model of care for our patients to ensure coordinated care and management of their condition by all providers," said Mears. "It has proven to be invaluable to our patient's recovery process by educating and coaching them every step of the way, empowering patients to take charge of their own health after a hospital admission." During the presentation, Mears and Taylor engaged listeners with a case study of a Georgia Amedisys care center that partnered with a local hospital and Georgia's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization to decrease hospitalization rates through the implementation of Care Transitions. Over a 12-month period, the agency successfully demonstrated a downward trend in the acute care hospitalization rate. Mears and Taylor also shared best practices for those hoping to develop and launch their own Care Transitions programs, and highlighted its benefits and outcomes.

"The ultimate goal of Care Transitions is to help our patients change their life behaviors and positively impact their health, even before leaving the hospital," said Taylor. "We are excited about what Care Transitions has done for our patients, and are thrilled to be able to share this program and its benefits to a wider audience at HHQI." Amedisys' Care Transitions program and the Georgia case study were recently highlighted in HHQI's Cross Settings I - Best Practice Intervention Package, a guide designed for home care leaders and clinicians about Care Transitions. The full presentation can be accessed in the HHQI archives, located here:

About Amedisys: Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) is the nation's leading health care company focused on bringing home the continuum of care. Each day Amedisys delivers personalized health care services to more than 35,000 individual patients and their families, in the comfort of patients' homes. Amedisys has two divisions, home health care and hospice. The Company's state-of-the-art advanced chronic care management programs and leading-edge technology enables it to deliver quality care based upon the latest evidence-based best practices. Amedisys is a recognized innovator, being the first in the industry to equip its clinicians with point-of-care laptop technology and referring physicians with an internet portal that enables real-time coordination of patient care seamlessly. Amedisys also has the industry's first-ever nationwide Care Transitions program. Amedisys Care Transitions is designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions through patient and caregiver health coaching and care coordination, which starts in the hospital and continues throughout completion of the patient's home health plan of care. For more information about the Company, please visit:

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