BENNINGTON (AP) - Two home health care agencies are combining to offer expanded services throughout the Bennington area.

The Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care and the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice are teaming up.

The plan still needs to be approved by state officials.

Ron Cioffi, CEO of the Rutland group, said by combining efforts, the groups can reduce the cost of care and improve collaboration and coordination of home care across Bennington County. He said there are plans to add services, possibly including private duty nursing; community wellness; and specialty nursing, such as wound and ostomy care and psychiatric nursing.