Meeting Patient and Cost Needs with Home Healthcare
Over the past few years, home healthcare has been seen as a part of a solution to slowing rising health expenditures while at the same time many individuals increasingly strive to age in place and remain independent by remaining in the comfort of their home. Home healthcare agencies provide medical treatment in the home, including chronic disease management; care to improve or stabilize a patient’s functional status; care coordination services and management of care transitions (especially from hospital to home); management of behavioral health conditions; care that enables avoidance of unnecessary hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations; and support to patients and their family members to connect to community resources to enable and support independence.
Hospitals or nursing homes are no longer the only options, with the home healthcare industry, in fact, becoming the de facto solution for many, as our aging population requires more care.
Just take a look at our aging population and consider the impact on the healthcare system: According to the AARP (2014), in 2011, the first of the baby boomers started turning 65 years of age at a rate of 8,000 per day – a pace that will continue until 2029. By 2025, the number of people older than 65 years is expected to grow to nearly 72 million (Chicago Sun Times, 2014). By 2050, seniors will number 83.7 million or 21% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census, 2014). An increase in the aged population will mean an increase in treatment for expensive chronic diseases. Managing chronic diseases currently accounts for 75% of U.S. healthcare spending, and is expected to be more than $1 trillion in 2020. If current trends continue, total healthcare spending will be 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and 30% of GDP by 2050. One solution, many in healthcare, is to shift from treating episodes of acute exacerbation of chronic disease to prevention through evidence-based practice guidelines and patient empowerment strategies. The goal is to keep many more people healthy and out of hospitals.
Home healthcare can help achieve this goal and improve patient outcomes. For example, Medicare home healthcare is generally the least costly alternative. Medicare expenditures for a patient treated in home health as the first setting after hospital discharge averages $20,345, compared to an average of $28,294 for patients across all setting. In addition, Medicare patients who receive home healthcare immediately after hospital discharge are more likely to improve self-care.
What’s more, home healthcare is the preferred patient setting. According to the AARP, persons 50 and older with disabilities, particularly those between 50 and 64, strongly prefer independent living in their own homes to other alternatives. Preferences for services at home rather than in nursing homes are widespread among persons with disabilities. Even in the event they needed 24-hour care, 73% of persons with disabilities prefer services at home. Among the general population of persons 50 and older, 58% prefer services at home, according to the AARP.
At Caitlin Morgan, we’ve specialized in insuring the healthcare industry, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and independent living facilities for years. We also provide coverage for the home healthcare sector, including for those delivering skilled nursing care and providing personal care, homemaker and companion services, physical therapy and other support services, and in-home hospice care. We partner with top-tier insurers to secure General Liability, Professional Liability, Cyber Liability, and Property, among other key coverages. With the home healthcare industry continually growing, we can assist you in expanding your footprint in this niche. Give us a call at 877.226.1027.
Sources: Association of Healthcare Journalists, AARP