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Gallagher Home Health Services: Treating Patients Like Family
By Daniel Casciato

Gallagher Home Health Services is a family-owned and operated home health and hospice company built on the family values instilled in by the founder’s mother, Iva Gallagher.

Diane Karcz, who started the company in 2005, says that her mother believed she was the best caregiver in the world. When Karcz’s family decided to start the business, they wanted to hire the most talented nurses in the counties they serve and wanted the memory of their mom present in everything they did and every decision they made.

“We pride ourselves on our belief that the patients always come first,” explains Shandra Harcarik, RN, BSN, regional director of sales and marketing for Gallagher. “We also take great pride in our responsiveness. We can get to a patient’s home on a timely basis and ensure that we are able to provide them with the full staff that they need in a timely manner.”

Another key thing that makes Gallagher Home Health Services different is the fact that it is still family-owned, says Harcarik. “Also, our patients are not known to us by a number. We provide personalized care and service. We involve the patient and their family in their own plan of care.”

Gallagher Home Health Services provides care in nine counties across western Pennsylvania. The services include:

  1. Skilled nursing
  2. Therapy services
  3. Medical social workers
  4. Mental health nurses
  5. Maternal child nursing
  6. Private duty home care

Gallagher recently launched a hospice program about 18 months ago, according to Harcarik.

One of the popular misconceptions of home health is that agencies are unable to help the patient in the home and are unable to stay in there too long. That’s not necessarily true, says Harcarik.

“A whole episode of home health can last 60 days,” she says. “With a couple of months of home health, that can make a difference in a patient’s life. Another misconception is that it is unaffordable but Medicare and other insurances can help pay for it.”

For the past seven years, Gallagher has been recognized as a top performing U.S. home health agency by OCS Decision Health, an independent research firm whose mission is to “empower client success by providing information to elevate organizational performance and improve patient outcomes.” 

In addition, Gallagher has earned awards from Trib Total Choice Media for best home health agency, and for five consecutive years, they were recognized as a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Top Workplace.

“Diane personally interviews and hires everyone who works with us,” notes Harcarik. “That leads to our best outcomes.”

As more baby boomers are aging, home health care as well as private duty home care is becoming more popular than ever, according to Harcarik.

“In the past home health was not as popular and was not used as often,” she says. “But with the Medicare population quadrupling in size, home health is becoming a leader in healthcare to keep people out of a hospital.”

Today, more hospitals, physicians and insurance companies are looking to home health agencies to see what services to put into the home in a more cost-effective manner to keep patients out of the hospital.

“With everything becoming more value-care based and the value care system in place, they are realizing the value of home health and it’s being utilized more than ever,” says Harcarik.

For more information, visit http://gallagherhomehealthservices.com.

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