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March 8, 2013

by Joel Newman

When Ron and Barb Byers founded Western Illinois Home Health Care in 1981, home care was a new field within the health care spectrum in the United States and unknown to most people in West Central Illinois. Since then, Western Illinois Home Health Care’s expansion to four offices allows for prompt care to over 1,000 clients throughout their ten-county territory.


“Staying viable requires consistently providing excellent care and service to people in our community, while foreseeing and adapting to changes with government regulations and industry standards,” Barb Byers, President/CEO of Western Illinois Home Health Care said.


For over 30 years, the Byers’s have seen the home care industry – and their agency – evolve from an infant market to an integral part of the health care continuum that now is shaping the way care is delivered.  


“Home care has become a focal point in continuing care for our aging population,” Joel Newman, Director of Business Development for Western Illinois Home Health Care said. “It’s crucial that hospitals, physicians and institutionalized care facilities partner with home care to provide a high-quality, low-cost alternative in post-acute care.”


Every day in the United States, approximately 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years of age. To address the growing need for home care for this rapidly expanding population, Western Illinois Home Health Care has been developing a number of strategies to offer tailored, individualized care to those who are referred to the agency.


Among these is the new Chronic Care Management Model, which coordinates care to patients suffering from chronic ailments from the moment they are discharged from the hospital. Case Managers are dispatched to meet with patients and develop a care plan that reduces rehospitalizations and frequent visits to the primary care physicians.


“Patients need to become stronger advocates for their own health. We are there to give them the tools they need to achieve specific outcomes in the care, while driving down costs billed to Medicare,” Byers said.


Western Illinois Home Health Care is also implementing a new clinical management software that will fundamentally change how our staff manages care for every client. The software allows immediate communication to all Case Managers, therapists and field staff, as well as immediate information back to office staff to help coordinate care and process flow within a centrally-located clinical management team.


“Technology has always been an important part of this agency. 18 years ago, we were one of the first agencies in the state to provide laptops to every Case Manager in the field that gave them the ability for up-to-the-minute information about the patients we cared for. I’m positive this new software will be a big step for in-home care,” Jen Podhajsky, Director of Technology Resources for Western Illinois Home Health Care said.


“By implementing these new initiatives, Western Illinois Home Health Care further adds to its comprehensive in-home care service,” Amanda Newman, Director of Operations for Western Illinois Home Health Care said. “Whether it is supportive services like light housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship or skilled nursing or therapy, Western Illinois Home Health Care can be a family’s resource for at-home care for their loved one.”


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