For your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual
Health & Well-being - February 2004
COMMUNITY NURSING SERVICES
75 YEARS OF SERVICE AND STILL MAKING
Ethics and Community Nursing Services
Community Nursing Services (CNS) believes that
ethical behavior exceeding expectations results in superior patient
care and a better agency reputation. As competition for patients
increases in the home health market place, ethical behavior too
often decreases. Attention, organization and diligence are necessary
to assure that expected values are maintained, regulatory boundaries
are not compromised, and patients are fully benefited.
Phone Numbers for Information Regarding Our Services or to
Make a Patient Referral
- Salt Lake City (801) 233-6100
- Orem (801) 224-8138
- Layton (801) 774-4960
- Logan (435)752-3355
- Price (435) 613-8887
- Moab (435) 250-0466
- St. George (435) 652-9077
- Tooele (435) 882-3913
- Statewide (800) 486-2186
- or www.cnsvna.org
CNS is proud to have a formal ethics committee
to help answer a myriad of questions about patients, protocols,
practice and programs.This committee reports to a fourteen-member
board of trustees, which includes physicians, nurses, insurers,
attorneys, administrators and leaders from other non-profit organizations.
Board members are responsible for maintaining the values, philosophy
and mission of CNS focusing on the needs of patients rather than
making profits for stockholders and partners.
Putting profits before patients may be demonstrated
in a variety of ways. Buying patient referrals has the potential
for helping an agency’s bottom line, but at CNS, this would be considered
an unethical practice. One may ethically accept an occasional plate
of freshly baked cookies from CNS as a form of appreciation for
allowing us to be of service. However, agencies that provide tickets
to ball games, rounds of golf, help with staffing or who promise
other similar gifts may find themselves at risk both ethically and
legally by compromising the integrity of patient choice.
Practitioners in the field have recently reported
other examples of unethical and illegal behaviors. When a nursing
home is paid more through a home health/hospice than Medicare or
Medicaid would otherwise pay them, they become a target of the Center
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) fraud investigations. Another
example of potential fraud has been the renewed effort by certain
independent therapists and nurses to garner referrals from facilities
and clinics then broker the patients to home health agencies for
a fee. Equally questionable is the activity of soliciting patients
door to door, as well as soliciting patients already being cared
for by another agency to leave that agency.
CNS does not and will not participate in unethical
or illegal behaviors. CNS is committed to, organized for and strives
to be both a legal and ethical provider of home health care and
related services. If there is any evidence to the contrary, i.e.
if we do not walk the talk, please call me.
Grant C. Howarth, President and CEO.