It’s no secret that the health care industry in the United States continues to change. As the cost of care continues to increase (anticipated to rise 5.5% annually through 2026), and with the federal government constantly attempting to work out a plan that will insure the maximum number of citizens, there has been greater focus on how best to provide long-term and supportive care for patients, and home care is becoming a more potent option.
Across the country, more and more hospitals are turning to home care services as a way to not only help reduce costs for the patient and insurers, as well as the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid services, but also to improve post-discharge care.
Home care aides, visiting nurses, and other professionals are playing a larger role in the care and recovery and support of patients throughout almost every community. It’s not just home care agencies and other providers that are noticing this trend, but doctors and medical services recognize the increasing value of in home care.
In an interview with president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties in Vermont Judy Peterson, published by VTDigger.com in the blog VNA talks about what home care looks like in 2018, Ms. Peterson stated:
“From the patient’s point of view, it’s just a win-win situation because with that closer integration between the hospital, the primary care physician, and home health, the patient’s care is better coordinated. We’re all communicating with one another about that same patient. As you can imagine, sometimes at the emergency room they’ll see a person who continually comes back, and they treat the acute situation and send them home. Well, now we have a program where the VNA works with the ED, so when they have somebody who’s coming back, they refer them to home health.”
More agencies are beginning to network with area hospitals and other practitioners, not just to offer these patients better options, but more improved monitoring at home. Instead of a person having to spend weeks or even months in a hospital where their overall care is fractured and they can’t be comfortable, the goal is increasingly to move them home, if possible, safe, and reasonable.
For that, these same hospitals and doctors are relying on the support of home care providers to assist, monitor, and encourage patients after discharge from the hospital. Cost may be the underlying and overarching motivation, but improved support and quality care are the residual results and that helps patients feel more comfortable and empowered in their own health care at home.