Insurance companies have been viewed as notoriously tight when it comes to paying out on policies. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about health insurance, automobile insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or anything else that is protected, but in recent years some of these insurance companies have been loosening their restrictions and their payout policies when it comes to home care services.
They are doing this not out of altruism, but for positive economics. It costs far less to pay for home care support than having a client hospitalized for weeks or even spending several weeks or months in a nursing home. As these insurance companies begin to truly understand this, they are rewarding home care work more than they have in the past.
As reported by Modern Healthcare in their blog, Reimbursement limitations on home healthcare are being loosened, written by Shelby Livingston:
“Home healthcare programs similar to Blue Shield’s are proliferating as health plans and at-risk providers look for ways to keep patients out of the hospital or from returning after being discharged. As healthcare costs squeeze patient wallets and company bottom lines, insurers have focused on the savings to be reaped by caring for patients at home. And by removing some benefit restrictions, Medicare is making it easier for those health plans to do so.
“The amount of services that are moving to the home is happening at the fastest pace I’ve seen,” said Bruce Greenstein, chief strategy and innovation officer at home healthcare provider LHC Group who previously served as HHS’ chief technology officer. “The organizational alignment is occurring with the financial alignment and that’s going to allow more innovation to happen in providing the right kind of care in the home,” he said.”
While this can be great news, it also throws up a few important red flags. One of those involves a shift for numerous home care companies away from basic elder care support to a more medical focus. In other words, some home care agencies are focusing more on short and long-term medical care to help people reduce hospital readmissions and are moving away from those seniors who may not have chronic illnesses, diseases, or are not specifically recovering from injuries that hospitalized them.
This could leave some elderly and disabled individuals scrambling for support and struggling to get the adequate care they need on a regular basis. However, as the insurance industry starts to take note of the value home care services offers, it can possibly expand coverage options for millions of people throughout the United States.