Award Winner- County Health Department Has Big Impact On Citizens

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The Benton County Health Department was recently named a 2018 Home Health CAHPS HONORS recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, a leading provider of home health and hospice software, billing and coding services, CAHPS surveys and advanced analytic. The Health Department was honored based on surveys of patients receiving home care during the period of April 2017 through March 2018. The Department was previously honored by the same award in 2014.
“Patients surveyed were mostly those who had been released from the hospital, with referrals from hospitals or doctors for home care,” said Gloria Smith, Assistant Administrator of the Health Department’s Home Health. “We offered services such as skilled nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; aide services for bathing and personal care; as well as social work. A staff of about 22 served 652 Home Health patients in 2018.”
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys were administered by HEALTHCAREfirst. Award recipients were evaluated by their performance on a set of 19 satisfaction indicator measures within the survey and were compared to a national average score calculated from partnering home health agencies contained in the HEALTHCAREfirst HHCAHPS database. Honors recipients included those agencies scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Average on at least 85 percent, or seventeen of the 19 evaluated questions. 
“I want to let everyone in the community know how awesome our Home Health Team is doing,” said Bonnie Etter, WIC Coordinator/Health Program Representative at the Health Department.
“There is a big population in Benton County that comes into the Health Department for immunizations and other health care,” said Smith. “The Department is a political subdivision of the county and receives tax dollars for the Health Department side of its services. Services such as Hospice are usually covered by Medicare and Medicaid, and insurance covers immunizations.  Donations also contribute to funding. Total revenue for the Department in 2016 was $3,698,433 and is pretty close to that amount at the present time.”
The Health Department has multiple focus groups including children’s issues, lower income population and the elderly. Some of the services offered along with home health include blood draws, blood sugar screening, CPR/first aid training, health education, environmental, pregnancy testing, Hospice, child care inspection, public health emergency response, maternal and child health and core public health functions. In the past the Department has offered free eye screening, and drive-thru flu shots administered to clients in their vehicles.
The Benton County Health Department is responsible for the promotion and protection of the public health through education, disease and injury prevention, regulation, and direct delivery of health care services in order that all may achieve their fullest health potential. Staff of the Department is also very involved in the community, and a fundraising team helps support local organizations that help the needy. Some of the events the fundraising team has taken part in include Christmas for Kids, the Rodeo, the Annual Classic Car Show, and the WIC Baby Shower.
The Health Department is located at 1238 Commercial Street, and is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Its primary phone is 660-438-2876.