1. Marrelli, Tina M. MSN, MA, RN

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Well, it has been a month since the start of the "Refinements" to the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (PPS). As you know, they were effective January 1, 2008. It is hard to believe that this is the first real change to reimbursement since PPS began officially in 2000. It's even harder to think that it was 8 years ago!! And what a learning curve we have all been through[horizontal ellipsis]

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I am making this a short editorial as we have so much information that we want to fit into this February issue. Because coding is such an integral component of care in the PPS (and the Refinements), Patty Behrle and Pamela Teenier bring us "Correct Coding Begins With the Fundamentals: An Introduction to Home Care Coding," which is also a continuing education offering because it is so important. The emphasis on preventing avoidable hospitalizations is also key to success in this revised healthcare model. One organization's efforts are reflected in Monica S. Vasquez's Home Care Today column entitled "Preventing Rehospitalization Through Effective Home Health Nursing Care." To achieve patient goals, patient education is more important than ever!! In this issue there is another continuing education article, "Timeless Principles of Learning: A Solid Foundation for Enhancing Chronic Disease Self-Management" by Paula M. Suter and W. Newton Suter. These articles all support the refinements in the PPS and may offer new ideas and other information to help you and your colleagues stay ahead in the learning curve.


Other articles include infection control, more important than ever as the media continues its focus on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the communities and people who are affected by it. The third CE offering is entitled "The Quest for Best Practice in Caring for the Home Care Patient With an Indwelling Urinary Catheter: The New Jersey Experience," by Josephine Sienkiewicz, Ginny Wilkinson, and Kathleen D. Emr. Family caregiving, always an important topic, is addressed in the Hospice & Palliative Care column, "The Challenges of Family Member Caregiving: How the Home Health and Hospice Clinician Can Help at the End of Life" by Shirley Ruder.


As always, we look forward to hearing from you with questions, feedback, and topics that you would like to see addressed in a forthcoming issue of Home Healthcare Nurse. I can be reached at [email protected].


Tina M. Marrelli, MSN, MA, RN