There have been many factors directly impacting home health care throughout the country. Some of these impacts are negative, but for the most part they are positive. In fact, home care is the number one job creator in the country and will remain that way (most likely), for at least the next 5 to 10 years, if not more.
Home health care support is also becoming an integral part of the healthcare system. Part of the reason for this is the federal government’s increased pressure on hospitals to reduce their readmission rates. Studies have found that when people have adequate support following discharge from the hospital, their chances of recovery increase and, therefore, readmissions decrease.
Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is making it easier for some individuals to get adequate care and support at home through their Medicare Advantage plans.
According to an op-ed published by The Detroit News titled, Opinion: Home care necessary in healthcare, written by Steve Greenbaum:
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is redefining what Medicare Advantage Plans can offer as supplemental benefits to enrollees. And for the first time, this includes several services related to non-medical home care, meaning that home care is officially being recognized as a legitimate component of the continuum of care. This is of special importance to companies like ComForCare, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, and the rapidly expanding aging population across the U.S. that our locations want to serve.”
According to certain resources, the number of people relying or needing long-term care will essentially double from the numbers seen in 2000. An estimated 27 million people are expected to rely on and require some type of long-term care, and home care remains the most affordable.
Home care is also the most desirable because it is the only long-term care that allows people to remain at home where they are most comfortable. The baby boomer generation (men and women born shortly after World War II ended through the mid-1960s) is now reaching retirement age. That means seniors will comprise a larger demographic of the U.S. population and, ultimately, leading to more people requiring some type of long-term care.
As hospitals and other medical professionals are understanding, the value in home care is increasing. While wages remain stagnant and low, home care agencies have an opportunity to reach out and connect with the general public, offering information and increasing awareness of the value home care aides and visiting nurses offer for people who are advancing in years.