It’s no secret that technology is revolutionizing many industries around the world. In fact, there are few industries that have been relatively untouched by this latest technological wave of social media, smartphones, and tablets, and the in home care industry is one that is beginning to see some true potential in the market.
Telehealth is the newest innovation that may provide a great deal of support for elderly and disabled clients who need support within the comfort of their home. By connecting them to potential care providers, including home care aides and visiting nurses, and also allowing their primary care physicians to monitor their health remotely, it’s providing these men and women the opportunity to remain comfortable at home as opposed to needing some type of nursing home care.
Telehealth systems are being tested and implemented in various regions across the country and the earliest indicators are that they are highly effective. In fact, FirstHealth of the Carolinas implemented this system in 2015 and enjoyed $2 million in savings for high risk patients by utilizing telehealth.
Under this particular program, patients were visited by a nurse within 48 hours of their discharge and then provided a tablet that helped them track their own vitals. That information was sent back to FirstHealth for monitoring. It also allowed these men and women the opportunity to have better access to information and be more engaged in an ongoing care plan.
According to a March 2, 2017 blog, Telehealth: A Vital Tool in the Home Healthcare Space, published by mHealth Intelligence:
“In 2015, Medicare paid $17.8 billion to almost 11,400 home health agencies that served approximately 3.4 million beneficiaries. In efforts to curb home health spending, CMS plans to enact a combination of adjustments to home health payments that account for number of visits in an episode, various services in an episode, average cost of care, and other patient characteristics.
The proposed payment changes, due to take effect this year, aim to promote efficiency, flexibility, payment accuracy, and advance care quality in the home health industry as well as the greater Medicare provider community, CMS reported in a fact sheet.”
With these changes coming, more and more home health organizations are looking to technology as a way to improve support and care while keeping costs down. So far, these types of systems are showing promise and technology is driving the in home health care market to new directions and heights.
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