Laura Neeter, 70, was concerned when her orthopedic surgeon, Yair Kissin, M.D., at Hackensack University Medical Center recommended in-home physical therapy after her knee replacement.
Laura didn’t know she could go straight home — and wasn’t sure she could manage on her own. But after discussing the merits of home rehabilitation with Dr. Kissin, she agreed to try it after her surgery in September 2017. The day after Laura returned home from the hospital, she met her care team from Visiting Health Services of New Jersey, a partnership of Hackensack Meridian Health and St. Joseph’s Health.
‘Comfortable and Confident’
“I was amazed by the care I received from Visiting Health Services of New Jersey,” Laura says. “My nurse and physical therapist made me feel confident that I could achieve my goals. I developed a special relationship with both care providers, which was important to the recovery process.” It’s long been customary for joint replacement patients to spend time at an inpatient rehabilitation facility after surgery before returning home. And for certain patients, a stay at an inpatient rehab center may still be the best option. But increasingly, patients are wanting to return home and can now receive physical therapy and care in the comfort of their homes within 24 hours.
“Traditional thinking was that inpatient rehabilitation was necessary in preparation to return home. Today, patients are up and moving around shortly after surgery, and they thrive being in the comfort of their homes and familiar surroundings,” says Dr. Kissin. “The quality of care and rehabilitation provided by Visiting Health Services of New Jersey is exceptional, and being home benefits patients physically as well as emotionally.”
Intensive, Attentive Care
Laura received skilled nursing and physical therapy at home for almost two weeks. Her physical therapist worked with her nearly every day. “My physical therapist pushed me to keep at my exercises, but I was glad because every day I felt better,” she says. Laura was so rejuvenated after recovering from knee replacement that she recently moved to Princeton to begin the next exciting chapter of her life. She doesn’t own a car — but that’s no problem. Princeton is a great walking town, she says. “Life is great,” Laura says. “I’m doing more now than I did for the two years prior to my joint replacement surgery. My first day in Princeton, I did 10,000 steps. Was I exhausted? Yes. But it wasn’t because of my knee. I hadn’t had that much exercise in ages.”
Reaching More Patients in their Personal Environment
In 2017, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Hackensack Meridian Health announced the formation of a jointly owned home health services agency and hospice services agency to serve patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and parts of Morris County. The partnership formed Visiting Health Services of New Jersey, a full-service home health provider and Medicare-certified home care agency and VHS Hospice Services of New Jersey.
- Visiting skilled nursing, Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- In-home physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Home health aides who assist with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation
- Medical social workers who provide counseling, coordinate community services and assist with long-term planning
- Certified hospice services
- Nutritional counseling
- Wound care nursing
- Medication review and education
- Programs such as specialized home orthopedic and joint replacement, stroke, brain injury, bariatric and other condition-specific recovery programs
VHS Hospice Services of New Jersey provides one-on-one personalized care delivered by a qualified and specially trained team, which includes a physician medical director, certified nurses trained in hospice and palliative care, licensed clinical social workers, chaplains, hospices aides and trained volunteers.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Hackensack Meridian Health have a long history of providing homecare and hospice services. St. Joseph’s Healthcare System and Visiting Health Services of New Jersey, as well as Hackensack Meridian Health, have been dedicated to providing care to patients in the comfort of their homes for more than three decades. In fact, St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian Health provided approximately 400,000 home visits in 2016. St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian Health have been able to deliver advanced clinical care to patients who return to their homes following hospitalization or to those requiring assistance to remain in the comfort and security of their home due to an illness, injury or disability.
The partnership will extend across all St. Joseph Healthcare System and Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals in Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties, including St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital, Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center. As a result of this partnership, St. Joseph’s, Hackensack Meridian Health and Visiting Health Services of New Jersey will provide home health services in Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Somerset, Union, Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties.
Best Nursing Homes – A 5 Star Rating
Hackensack Meridian Health’s nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Brick, Shrewsbury, Wall, Ocean Grove, Holmdel and North Bergen all received the highest overall rating of five stars in U.S. News & World Report‘s eighth annual Best Nursing Homes, a designation that only 13 percent of all facilities in the U.S. have received. The top rating represents Hackensack Meridian Health’s commitment to providing high-quality long-term nursing and rehabilitation services.
The six Hackensack Meridian Health nursing home and rehabilitation facilities, as well as subacute rehabilitation facilities that received U.S. News & World Report‘s five star rating include:
- Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brick
- Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in Holmdel
- Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in North Bergen (The Harborage)
- Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in Ocean Grove
- Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in Shrewsbury
- Hackensack Meridian Health Subacute Rehabilitation in Wall
In order to determine “Best Nursing Homes” star ratings, U.S. News & World Report evaluated nearly 16,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country and examined star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that sets and enforces nursing home standards, with only 2,005 nursing homes receiving this level of designation for 2016-17.
Hackensack Meridian Health‘s skilled nursing facilities provide personalized care for patients ranging from long-term nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, post-hospital and post-surgical care, respite care, hospice care, 24-hour skilled nursing, coordination of physician services and family counseling in a comfortable, home-like setting.
Better Access to Necessary Equipment
In early 2017, Hackensack Meridian Health opened the Bergen County Durable Medical Equipment Warehouse site in Lodi.
The opening of this facility enables us to significantly expand our services, already reaching an additional 2,400 patients through Hackensack University Medical Center, John Theurer Cancer Center, Palisades Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Health System in Wayne and Patterson, Visiting Health Services Hospice, Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing and Rehabilitation in North Bergen (The Harborage) and The Sleep-Wake Centers at both Hackensack University Medical Center and Palisades Medical Center. Various product lines are housed at the facility, including home medical equipment, CPAP/BiPAP machines and supplies and oxygen, respiratory therapy service and wound care supplies. The new warehouse helps prevents readmissions by ensuring medically necessary equipment arrives on-time and in-place for safe discharge.