One of the toughest challenges for hospitals in their effort to reduce readmission rates has been to not just provide quality follow-up care, but the support their patients may need at home. Hospitals that are located in poorer neighborhoods have a tendency to struggle more to reduce these readmissions and have been pressured by the federal government to do more to help after discharge. Home care is one of the best options, but even though millions of potential patients have access to quality agencies across the country, they may not understand how important it can be.
A home health care provider who checks in daily with a patient will likely be able to check vitals, like temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on. If they enter this information into a program or app so the patient’s doctor can monitor details, it could help that doctor spot issues that could be addressed early, without requiring an emergency call or return trip to the hospital.
As noted on National Public Radio, in the blog, Can Home Health Visits Help Keep People Out Of The ER? Written by Selena Simmons-Duffin:
“That’s key for D.C., which has the highest per capita 911 call volume in the country. Mary’s Center pilot program grew out of AmeriHealth, a Medicaid managed care organization in D.C., approaching the health center and wanting to brainstorm how to get the District’s unnecessary emergency visits down. Now, the program has expanded to Medicaid patients like Dolman who have Trusted Health Plan.
The managed care organizations get incentives from the city if they reduce ER overuse. And the D.C. council is considering legislation that would expand reimbursement for these types of visits.”
Another benefit that home care offers people when they’re discharged from the hospital is emotional and physical support and assistance. By helping them understand what’s necessary for them to do in order to get healthy again, by assisting them with some physical tasks during the initial days or weeks after they’re home, it can not only keep them safer, but encourage them through the challenges they may face during recovery.
Home care agencies working directly or indirectly with hospitals to provide care and support for men and women at home can help to reduce the risk of readmissions and it’s not just beneficial to those individuals, but it’s also financially beneficial to hospitals as they reduce the risk of fines being imposed by the federal government. As can be noted in the above quoted content, some regions might also offer incentives to improve support after the hospital stay has ended.