It’s obvious to anyone following the national news that the importance of home health care is increasing across America. There are numerous social influences helping to drive this marketplace shift: economic pressures, demographic shifts, consumer choices and government initiatives. One of the more intense focus points lately has become the trend towards reducing hospital readmissions.
As the cost of hospital care is soaring, the obvious solution is to reduce the amount of patients being readmitted to hospitals for the same conditions over and over again. As a result, the importance of home care is at an all-time high and expected to trend upwards over the next several decades.
America’s Demographic Shift
The Population Reference Bureau Report, “Aging in the United States,” examines recent trends and disparities among adults ages 65 and older and really breaks down the current demographic shift. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are reshaping the population landscape as they age. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 45+ million today to 100+ million over the next 40 years. A full 25 percent of the population will fall within this age group up from the current 15 or so percent.
As America’s population ages, the health care industry will be stressed well beyond what it is capable of handling. With increased age comes increased health issues for most people. Doctor visits and reliance on medication will rise. The number of long and short-term hospital stays will jump dramatically.
A provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now requires financial penalties to be levied at hospitals with readmission rates that exceed the national average. This is aimed at forcing the hospitals (and the health care industry at large) to improve their quality of care and reduce the number of patients being readmitted.
The question is, how will the health care industry respond in order to reduce hospital admission rates?
The Role of the Home Care Provider
One of the key components to the overall plan of reducing hospital readmissions will be the role that home care providers play moving forward. The function of home care agencies and geriatric care providers will be crucial in working with hospital staff and doctors in creating a unified care plan for each and every client.
Professional care managers are 100% used to interacting with the health care system both effectively and frequently. This comfort level will help facilitate communication between doctors, clients and family members in putting together a care plan aimed at keeping the client out of the hospital. A professional Senior Advisor can guide the client and family through the myriad of issues related to the well-being and long-term health of the client.
An Integrated Care Management provider will be a must moving forward. By providing a client centered approach, an Integrated Care Management agency will help supervise the care of your loved one with the client’s best interests at heart. They can provide
- Health Care Assessment & Ongoing Monitoring
- Long Term Care Planning & Financial Consulting
- Client Advocacy & Local Resources
- In-Home & Facility Housing Options
An Integrated Care Management team will pick up where your medical providers leave off in helping to provide a substantial quality of life for your loved one. The first step in reducing hospital readmissions is to improve the quality of care and attention the patient receives once they are discharged.
Call us today at 201-670-7100 to speak with one of our team members and let us explain how we are here to help.