Long before hospitals were spread all across the country, just about the only way most Americans received any type of medical care was through a home visit by their local doctor. Today, it has become commonplace for most men and women to know they have to get in the car, on the bus, or rely on a cab to get them to the doctor instead. For the elderly, without proper care, there is an elevated risk of having to make a trip to the hospital or for dealing with more serious repercussions as a result of less than ideal care and support.
Dr. Thomas Cornwell is an ardent supporter of the idea that home care visits by doctors can actually be far more beneficial to elderly patients because it allows them to remain at home, where they are most comfortable, and it can even reduce the burden on hospitals and other medical professionals.
He’s not alone in this thinking, either. There is solid, compelling evidence pointing to the fact that home-based care -even for clients who are dealing with serious medical issues- is more beneficial than nursing home or hospital care. Dr. Cornwell founded Home Centered Care in 2012 and on August 1 they launched eight Centers of Excellence across the U.S.
Even at the University of Arizona, all medical students must complete some training in home-based care. It is not only beneficial for the patient, it’s also proving to save money for Medicare and Medicaid and others who may be financial responsible for medical care during those later years in life.
As reported by Emily Dieckman for the Tucson Local Media, in the article, Home-based care proves more effective for elderly patients:
“A Medicare demonstration program called the Independence at Home Act found that providing home-based care for eligible beneficiaries through participating practices saved participants approximately $32 million over two years, at an average savings of over $3,000 per beneficiary the first year and $746 per beneficiary the second year.
The cost-saving benefits of home-based healthcare are just one of the reasons Fain said she believes the Center of Excellence could boost the local economy. She also pointed out that offering assistance to family members acting as caregivers can allow family members to go back into the workforce. Physicians coming from out of state for the opportunity to learn at the center could be further additions the workforce.”
Acknowledging the benefits of home-based care is, of course, the first step in offering better support in a more comfortable environment to those who may otherwise have to visit their hospital or rely on nursing home care.
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