When the federal government, under pressure from the Obama administration, imposed fines against hospitals that didn’t reduce readmission rates, it was originally labeled as destructive, that the policy was going to force hospitals out of business because there was little that could be done. However, nearly a decade on, the results of this push has found that when hospitals put more emphasis on improved quality of care and support for patients at home, costs are lowered and the risk of a readmission does decrease.
The home care industry has also stepped up to help provide the best foundation to support this need, too. The evidence continues to mount and while the focus may be on hospitals and the incentives they receive, it’s the home health care sector that’s making a vital difference in the lives of millions of people.
According to CNBC’s article, New incentives for hospitals are improving quality of care for patients at home, written by Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.:
“A recent report from The Commonwealth Fund found the percentage of home-health patients who got better at walking or moving around, a key measure of quality of care, rose in every state from 2013 to 2016. The group, which tracks performance in health systems nationwide, also found that hospital readmission rates for elderly Medicare beneficiaries continued to fall in nearly half the states from 2012 to 2015.
The improvement in care at home comes at a time when hospitals are forced to alter the way they deliver care, which can include providing more outpatient services or consulting patients online. Hospital admissions and length of stays have slumped in the U.S. over the years as more people are seeking cheaper alternatives or looking to fulfill their health-care needs more conveniently.”
When people have increased access to direct medical attention at home, when they are provided more accurate and easier to understand information about their health and what steps they need to take in order to get and stay healthy, and when they have reliable, dedicated, and compassionate caregivers supporting them in the comfort of their home, it leads to a dramatic increase in not just quality of life, but health overall.
Home care has been around for decades, but hospitals have, for the most part, had little interaction or direct support of the industry overall. Now, though, seeing the benefits to reducing readmission rates and improving health for patients, new relationships are being formed and that’s having a vast benefit for millions of seniors and others across the country.