At the Heart of Home Health Care


Visiting Nurse Associations of America









Home care is an essential, integral part of health care today, touching the lives of nearly every American.

More than 110 years ago, Visiting Nurse Agencies (VNAs) literally created the profession and the practice of home health care.  The need then was critical - there were no hospitals in many communities, and when they existed, they usually cared only for those who were seriously ill.

Patients were cared for at home by their families, as best they could.  When Visiting Nurse agencies began making home visits, they made a life-saving, health-preserving difference, bringing professional skills and compassionate hearts to care for the patient and support the family.

They made a critical difference in the late 1800s, as the country approached a new century.

Now, as the world approaches a new millennium, health care has essentially gone full circle.  Patients spend less and less time in the hospital.   Many procedures are done on an outpatient basis.  Lengths of stay for inpatient care have been dramatically reduced.  Recovery, rehabilitation, and care for chronic diseases and conditions are happening in the home.

Once again, Visiting Nurse agencies are making the critical difference.  They remain at the forefront of the home health care industry, providing innovative, comprehensive home health care services to patients across the nation.

As inpatient care becomes the exception rather than the rule, home and outpatient settings are now the primary way Americans receive health care.  Home health care is now highly skilled and technical to accommodate high-acuity level patients discharged early from the hospital.

While home health care has been through many transitions since the 1800s, the role and contributions of Visiting Nurse agencies have remained consistent.

Today, Visiting Nurse agencies care for nearly 10 million people every year, and represent nearly one-quarter of all not-for-profit, freestanding home health care services in the United States.  Visiting Nurse agencies are, indeed, the heart of home health care.

Together, VNAs serve over
10 million patients annually.

The home health care industry has expanded rapidly and has come under intense scrutiny.  However, Visiting Nurse agencies have maintained their unblemished reputation, and fulfilled their mission as an essential health care service in the communities they serve:

  • Because they are not-for-profit agencies, founded by and committed to their communities, Visiting Nurse agencies focus solely on providing care, not on improving their stock price or generating profits.

  • Physicians are confident when referring to Visiting Nurse agencies because they know about their quality standards, demonstrated outcomes and clinical excellence.

  • Patients are extremely satisfied with their care.  Visiting Nurse agencies have a 99 percent satisfaction rating.

  • Visiting Nurse agencies are remarkably cost effective, with lower costs per episode of care, and fewer needed visits for nearly every type of diagnosis.

Recovery and recuperation at home are now the norm.  More than at any time since the early 1900s, home health care is essential to maintain the health of a nation.


Donations allow the Visiting Nurse Associations of America to provide education, resources and support to its local community-based VNA members. 

Your tax deductible contributions will help VNAs maintain their long tradition of providing quality care to all who need it.   Donations support development of vital programs and services. 

Everyone is encouraged to make a donation.  Consider a donation which recognizes a special person or event.  A memorial in the name of a loved one is a meaningful way to pay a lasting tribute to a family member or friend.

Those wishing to contribute can use their credit card or make check payable and mail to:

Visiting Nurse Associations of America
11 Beacon Street, Suite 910
Boston, MA  02108

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