News Briefs

Hallmark Health VNA AND Hospice named as a Top Agency

Hallmark Health Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice announced that it has been named a Top Agency of the 2018 HomeCare Elite, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For 13 years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlighted the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

“Being named as a Top Agency of the 2018 Home Care Elite is a testament to the excellence and commitment of the dedicated staff at Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice,’ said Diane Farraher-Smith, president of Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice. “This is the eighth year that we have been recognized among the top-performing home health agencies in the United States, and we take great pride in the important work we do in our communities every day.”

The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare. It is sponsored by DecisionHealth, publisher of Home Health Line and the Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual.

“I would like to congratulate the team at Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice and thank them for their commitment to providing consistently high-quality care,” said Christine Lang, senior director for ABILITY Network. “During a time of increasing demands on home health professionals’ time and attention, these caregivers and leaders have demonstrated that they have prioritized their patients and created a solid foundation for serving their communities and partnering with other healthcare providers.”

“Congratulations to Hallmark Health VNA & Hospice from all of the staff at DecisionHealth,” said Marci Geipe, product manager for Decision Health. “Your leadership and staff have placed a premium on the patient care your agency provides as showcased by your quality outcome scores. The entire community benefits from the compassion that your staff shows toward your patients, leading to cost savings for the entire healthcare system.”

HomeCare Elite agencies are determined by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least three outcomes in Home Health Compare. Out of 8,898 agencies considered, 2,223 are recognized on the 2018 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.

The entire list of 2018 HomeCare Elite agencies can be downloaded by visiting the ABILITY Network website at


Baker-Polito administration announces local law enforcement equipment and technology grants

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito has announced grant awards totaling more than $1.3 million in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds to 77 local police departments. Revere will receive $20,000 for virtual desktop infrastructure for lap top computers in the police department cruisers The grants will help departments purchase vital equipment and technology that will provide additional protection to law enforcement officers and enhance security at schools in various communities.

“Our goal is to provide law enforcement officers with the most updated equipment and technology available to ensure their safety while they serve on the front lines to protect our communities,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “These awards will provide Massachusetts police officers with life-saving protective gear such as bulletproof vests, helmets and medical equipment as well as a range of technology items to bolster public safety.”

This competitive opportunity allowed local municipal police departments to solicit grant funding to address their equipment and technology related needs. Priority was given to applicants that solicited funding for items that would further enhance overall protection of officers on the streets or for items that would provide additional safeguards to protect schools and students from random acts of violence.

“There is no question that the safety and security of our most vulnerable population such as our children – especially while they are in the secure learning environment of our schools – remains the number one priority of law enforcement,” said President of Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs and Chief of Chelsea Police Department Brian Kyes. “Accordingly, it is absolutely essential that the police officers in our state have the necessary protective equipment and available technology to optimize that level of safety that our residents deserve both in and around our local schools as well as the neighborhoods in our cities and towns that we all call home.”

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