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VNA to Take Over Valley Regional Home Care, Hospice



Valley News Correspondent
Thursday, June 02, 2016

Claremont — By the end of June, Lake Sunapee Region Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice will have assumed the operation of Valley Regional Healthcare’s home care and hospice department, Jim Culhane, president of the Visiting Nurse Association, said Wednesday.

Culhane said Valley Regional’s home care department was run by Connecticut Valley Home Care in Newport, and now the VNA, based in New London, is taking over those operations.

“What is happening is that VRH is closing its home care and hospice department and LSRVNA is assuming care of current CVHC patients as well as future patients in the greater Claremont region,” the VNA said in a news release.

Culhane said Wednesday patient services will not change and the programs offered by Connecticut Valley Health Care, including adult day care, hospice and home health care, will continue as the VNA begins serving the estimated 350 patients of CVHC.

“Lake Sunapee has accepted all of the CVHC patients in order to ensure continued services,” Culhane said. “Our goal is to have a transition that is seamless for the patient.”

The combining of the two organizations will mean a service area of Sullivan County, and a portion of Merrimack and Grafton counties, Culhane said.

He said Charlestown, Acworth and Langdon, N.H., are the only three communities that Connecticut Valley Home Care was serving outside of the VNA coverage area, and those towns will be part of the larger organization.

Roughly 90 percent of the 84 CVHC employees have accepted similar positions with the VNA, bringing the association to about 200 employees, Culhane said.

Culhane said a larger organization, such as the Visiting Nurse Association, can better control and absorb costs and spread those costs over a greater population and market share, making the operation more efficient.

Gaye LaCasce, Senior Director of Development and Community Engagement for Valley Regional Healthcare, which owns Valley Regional Hospital, said it wasn’t a question of CVHC closing but rather optimizing care. She said the Visiting Nurse Association will mean the “best efficiencies and best quality for the greatest number of patients.”

“It is what they do,” LaCasce said about the association and their primary role in health care.

Valley Regional Healthcare President and CEO Peter Wright said the Visiting Nurse Association’s singular focus on home health care makes it particularly suited to assume a greater role in that area.

“We are pleased that we can entrust our community’s home health needs to their high quality care,” Wright said in news release last week.

Both organizations are Medicare certified for home health care and hospice, Culhane said, and provide similar services.

Hospice, home health care, which can include helping someone recovering from an illness or injury, nursing, and physical or occupational therapy, are among the services both groups offered.

Culhane said the Visiting Nurse Association will be leasing a portion of the Connecticut Valley Home Care office on Route 11-103 in Newport, and will also continue the grant-funded programs of CVHC, including homemaking services and home health aids that assists people with bathing, getting dressed and other daily requirements.

The Adult Day Care program run by CVHC in the Newport office will also continue.

In a news release announcing the change, Culhane called it “largely administrative” and said their goal is to have no interruption of services for patients, who will have the same caregivers coming to their home.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.