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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

May 7 2012   2:10PM GMT

Home health services as a way to help reduce healthcare costs



Posted by: RedaChouffani
healthcare costs, homehealth

Baby boomers have started reaching their retirement age in 2011, and with over 78 million of them as patients they will require care during their senior years.  Baby boomers are commonly known as the more self-reliant, gadget early adopters, and active individuals.  But with their high population number they are bound to put demand more from our health system.

In the current care delivery model we have today for senior citizens, nursing homes, hospital visits and assisted living are costly to both payers and patients.  And for that reason payers are looking to see what cost benefits would caring for patients at home and support their independences bring.

There are many reasons for the increase in demand for home health services and following is a short list to name a few:

Lower costs:  As patients are being treated at home, this alternate care location eliminates the costs associated with transport, and beds associated with charges inside a healthcare facility.

Telemedicine:  Baby boomers are known for being early adopters of technology and gadgets.  And with many of the capabilities of today’s electronic medical devices and smart phones, patients are able to remotely transmit data and have a care giver review it as part of their care. In addition, patients can even have access to a nurse and physician through video conferencing and be able to discuss their health issues from the comfort of their home.

Active life style:  As more baby boomers continue to enter retirement at a rate of 7,000 a day, many are continuing to stay active.  This most likely influences their decision to try to seek receiving care in the home instead of in a healthcare facility.

Technology:  In this area, we see that both patients and care providers benefiting from some of the technological advancements.  For home health service providers, mobile devices, and tablets have provided many much needed improved efficiencies.  Some of the examples are accessing records remotely, and transmitting information on the patient’s visit real time.

As we to see a shift toward keeping patients healthier and out of hospitals, it will become more critical for patients to receive care, participate in wellness programs and receive preventable care that can help ensure a healthier life.  Homecare services will play a significant role in helping patients with their health needs and keep healthcare costs down by reducing long/short term stays in nursing home and other assisted facilities.

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