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Established in 1972, the Association for Home & Hospice Care of North Carolina (AHHC) is a trade organization representing providers of home health, hospice, palliative care and other in-home care services. AHHC is one of the oldest and largest organizations of its kind in the nation, representing all types of in-home service professionals dedicated to providing quality care to patients in their home and community.
“We cater to all types of home care agencies: having them all underneath one organization allows us to have a stronger voice and better serve each area. As the healthcare model in our country changes, care transitions and collaboration within the healthcare continuum is more important than ever,” says President and CEO Tim Rogers. “AHHC serves 800 member agencies (98.5% of hospices are members) in North Carolina, which in turn serve more than 500,000 patients and employ 100,000 North Carolinians in all 100 counties. AHHC manages the South Carolina Home Care & Hospice Association, which serves 300 member agencies.”
One of the biggest advantages of in-home care for seniors is that it allows older adults to age in place at home, where they feel most comfortable. In many cases, in-home care is more affordable than institutional forms of care. In-home care also saves state and federal dollars. Recipients of in-home care range in age from infancy to those who have reached the end of life. “We believe home is where folks want to be, from beginning to end. And it’s a calling for many of us working in home care and hospice to provide quality care and help to enhance or maintain quality of life for those with special needs,” says Rogers.
Some services may be provided outside the home. For example, patients may receive hospice care in a nursing home or an inpatient hospice unit, as well as the home. As Mr. Rogers points out, “In these cases, the patients are kept as comfortable as possible and provided with a team of professionals dedicated to that task. The interdisciplinary team may include a hospice medical director, skilled nurse, social worker, chaplain, therapist, hospice aide and volunteer.”
“Our mission is to provide these agencies with resources, education, advocacy, and leadership,” says Rogers. “We strive to protect the provider and also to protect the patient.” AHHC has a staff with over 200 years of combined experience in home care and hospice, including a government affairs team lobbying at the state and federal level, and 4 Registered Nurses on staff for members to ask questions regarding policy and regulation. “We possess the resources and expertise required to speak on the issues that are important to our members,” says Rogers, “and at the end of the day, our collective focus is to ensure our loved ones have the right and the choice to receive care at home, whenever possible. It’s what we all deserve.”