When the federal government placed regulations and pressure on hospitals to reduce their readmission rates, many hospitals were resistant. They claimed many of the problems that lead to readmissions were beyond their purview, or ability to impact. In the years since, there has been a reduction in the number of hospital readmissions and part of that is due to in-home care services.
According to information provided in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, older adults who receive at least one or two hours of in-home physical therapy can be up to 82% less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 60 days of their discharge.
Also, according to the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, $41 billion is spent annually on hospital readmissions. By helping to reduce these rates, private insurers, individuals, and governments (state and federal) can save a tremendous amount of money on expenses that may not be necessary or possibly avoidable.
According to a blog published by Futurity entitled, Home Health Care Can Prevent Repeat Hospital Stays, written by Patrick Broadwater-Rochester:
“To prevent unplanned re-hospitalization, medical personnel refer older patients with high medical complexity to post-acute services, such as HHC.
Previous research shows that HHC improves physical function and reduces health care costs, but the current study is the first to systematically examine the relationships between specific services to find the threshold, or minimally effective, “dose” to avoid re-hospitalization.
“This finding highlights the complex medical and functional conditions in HHC patients, thus the need of ‘precision HHC,’” says Jinjiao Wang, an assistant professor in the University of Rochester School of Nursing.”
Increasing numbers of hospitals and doctors are referring patients to home health care support services when they are set for discharge. In-home care support is far more cost-effective at helping patients manage medications, get around safer, and even work with physical therapy and exercise to recover from whatever injuries or ailments affected them or caused the hospitalization.
By relying on in-home health care support, aging seniors can experience improved physical function, lower healthcare costs, and the potential to avoid a more costly readmission.
It’s not just the monetary cost of a readmission that patients need to consider; it’s also the emotional and physical toll. When a person has to be readmitted to a hospital, it means more time when they can’t exercise, get around, or even pursue things that are important to them, still.
As hospitals and doctors realize the true value of in-home care support more, these services are helping to reduce readmission rates, allowing aging seniors to recover more effectively at home.