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Code of Ethics

Oklahoma Association for Home Care And Hospice

The Oklahoma Association for Home Care and Hospice (OAHC) Code of Ethics has been developed to provide members with a set of guidelines for professional and ethical conduct.
Inherent to the development of a Code of Ethics is the knowledge that patients have a right to expect that home care providers will deliver quality services in an honest and ethical manner.
The Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a set of guidelines to home care providers on certain issues important to the home care industry and is not comprehensive or exhaustive.

Member agencies have the responsibility to develop, adopt, and observe Patient Rights and Responsibilities (Rights) in a manner necessary to contribute to lawful and effective patient care and satisfaction. A copy of these Rights will be made available to all patients by the time of admission. The Rights will be respected and observed by all home care personnel and integrated into all provider programs. In addition, members will comply with the requirements of the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990, where applicable to such members.

The principle objective of home care agencies is to provide quality services to patients and their families, individualized to meet their needs. Meeting the needs of patients shall take priority over business and competitive concerns, whenever possible.

Members shall abide by the by-laws, policies, and Code of Ethics of the Oklahoma Association for Home Care and all applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
Members shall participate and contribute knowledge, experience, and talents to OAHC in order to foster a dynamic, progressive organization from which all members can benefit professionally.

The amount billed or paid for goods and services shall be commensurate with the amount and type of goods and services provided.
A member’s billing and other business practices shall comply with applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.

Oral and written statements to the public, patients, and other health care providers shall honestly and accurately represent service, benefits, cost and provider capability.
Members will take those steps which are reasonable and necessary to preserve the patient’s right to choose a home care and/or hospice provider. For example, members that provide screening to institutionalized patients for home care referrals shall not use that position to override a patient’s choice of home care providers and to direct referrals to itself.
A member shall not, either directly or indirectly, offer or provide compensation, gift, loan, entertainment, favor, good or service or value whatsoever to any person or entity, including, but not limited to, employees, physicians or other health care providers, or businesses, for the purpose of inducing or influencing such person or entity to refer patients to the member for the provision of health care services or goods. This restriction does not apply to promotional items provided by a member which are reasonably necessary for the marketing efforts of the member, including, but not limited to, items such as publications, calendars, pens, mugs, and similar token items.
A member shall not knowingly initiate contact with a patient currently treated by another home care provider for the purpose of attempting to persuade the patient to change home care providers.
A member shall not knowingly solicit or permit an employee to solicit patients for its agency through coercion or harassment. If a member has knowledge of such actions by an employee, it shall take such steps as are reasonable and necessary for such conduct to cease.
A member shall comply with Medicare and Medicaid guidelines prohibiting fraudulent and abusive practices, where applicable.

Consistent with OAHC goals to promote quality care, a member shall:

  1. Comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations concerning personnel matters, including but not limited to employment, wage and hour, and antidiscrimination matters;
  2. Have written personnel policies available to all employees on major personnel issues and uniformly apply them to all employees;
  3. Provide on-going supervision and evaluation of all employees;
  4. Provide and promote continuing education and in-service training for all employees to update knowledge and skills needed to give competent patient care;
  5. Ensure that it has qualified and adequate staff to meet the needs of the patients to whom it renders care.

Members have the responsibility to report suspected abuse as may be required by applicable laws. The State Department of Health may be reached at (800) 234-7258, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Medicare Fraud and Abuse Complaint Hotline is (505) 291-3550.

The Code of Ethics shall be reviewed as needed upon direction of the OAHC Board of Directors.

This Code of Ethics was approved by the OAHC Board of Directors, November 11, 1993, and adopted by OAHC membership on December 10, 1993.