When Is It Time to Consider Home Health Care?

While home health care is a common practice, many people aren’t aware of the benefits it offers. With this service, patients forgo hospitalization, and instead receive all the attention they need in the comfort of their own home. Although it is often associated with a substitute for nursing homes, in-house service can be a great fit for patients of any age, whether they need routine care or help recovering from an injury. So, how do you know when it’s time to consider in-house medical attention for yourself or your loved ones?

When the Comfort of Home is Important to Recovery

Most people would agree that staying in their own homes is preferable to a night’s stay at the hospital. Staying in a hospital may cause certain individuals a great deal of anxiety; for these people, home health care is a very helpful alternative. The person receiving the care can ease their stress level, putting them in an ideal mindset for achieving a quick recovery.

When it Reduces Unnecessary Time and Travel

Among other things, in-house service can be ideal for patients needing assistance with health-related tasks that need to be performed daily or weekly. For example, a great number of people who receive home health care receive assistance with administering daily or weekly shots. This would mean traveling to the hospital or a physician countless times, making this the less time-consuming and more convenient option.

When Travel is Impossible

For some, traveling may simply be a matter of convenience or preference. However, one of the most common reasons to seek out this service is to receive daily or weekly physical therapy that speeds recovery after an injury. It’s not uncommon for injuries, such as a broken arm or a leg, may render the patient incapable of safely or comfortably driving. In this case, home health care is not simply a matter of convenience; it is a matter of necessity. Arranging for this type of service will take the stress out of trying to find other travel accommodations, speeding up the healing process considerably.

When it Offers an Alternative to a Nursing Home

One of the most common uses for home health care is to offer elderly loved ones an alternative to a nursing home. In-house care may be preferable for a variety of reasons: there may not be a nursing home in your area, making visits rare or impossible, or your loved one may feel uncomfortable with the idea of relocating their entire life at their age. It may offer peace of mind to your loved ones and your family, as they can continue to live in their homes while receiving all of the medical attention they would in a nursing home.

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What Is Trending in Home Health Care for 2015?

Each year sees new trends in all sorts of things. The home health industry is one area where you might not think that there would be trends but there really are. As far as trends in this area go, since 2010 the trend has had to do with the Affordable Care Act. That is changing now and there are other things moving into the spotlight.

Readmission Rate Reduction

Money is always a factor when it comes to speeding up times for people to be released from the hospital but due to the Affordable Care Act, there is even more of a focus on money. There is a part of the Act that deals specifically with readmission to the hospital. Because of this, hospitals are now trying to discharge their patients even more quickly in order to reduce more health risks as well as to reduce costs. A direct result of this was seen last year when almost 18 percent of patients in Medicare had to be readmitted to the hospital after having been discharged for less than a month. That number does happen to be lower than the rate for 2013 but this is still around 2,000,000 people being readmitted each year which then costs Medicare an average of $26 billion. It is estimated by officials that $17 billion of that amount is from readmissions that were avoidable.

The thing is, care does not always end right when a patient is discharged from the hospital. Home health is a vital component in the prevention of additional health issues. By monitoring discharged patients closely and using the latest technology for software and data collection, all of the parties who are involved can benefit.

Operational Efficiency

These days, both families with loved ones who are aging and health care providers are both asking quite a bit from the home health organizations. This can be difficult to handle and even more so if the organization is not being run efficiently. In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have projected that the payments Medicare makes to these home health agencies will see a reduction of up to $60 million. This new rule is just one of several rules that are said to show a strategy that is broader and administration wide in order to deliver care that is better at a cost that is lower through finding more efficient ways to use information, pay providers and to deliver care. In order to increase the efficiency of your agency, look for a system of software that will be able to let you know when the eligibility of a patient changes or when any billing change happens.

Regardless of what the trends are in the field of home health, your home health agency will always be one that is a necessity. If you stay abreast of changes then you and your agency will have the knowledge and the confidence that is required to be leaders in the field.

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What to Look For in Home Health Care

In between full-time hospitalization and a healthy lifestyle lies an unfortunate middle ground known as home health care. Some people have conditions that are not so severe as to require constant care through hospitalization, but are serious enough that the patient needs regular attention from a trained professional. Should a family member need attention of this frequency, your daily commitments and lack of medical training may make it impossible for you to provide your loved one with the care they need. In this instance, you will need the help of a home health care service.

Hiring an in-home medical professional is not a decision people make many times in their lives. The subject matter is difficult enough that actually weighing the merits of different companies (especially companies that will be responsible for your loved one’s well-being) could feel overwhelming. What you need are a few simple points of comparison that will help guide you through the process.

Variety in Staff

Chronic disease is extremely difficult to predict. People recover at random, get worse without warning, and develop new symptoms with frequency. In order to provide your family member with care that will adapt along with their needs, you’ll require a company with a wide variety of trained staff members. Any company worth hiring should offer most of the following: specialized nurses, dieticians, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and religious consultants. These various staff members will be able to provide aid at every step of your loved one’s treatment and recovery. Regardless of what twists and turns their illness takes, you will be able to rest easy knowing that you’ve provided them with solutions to whatever arises.

Variety in Service

As with the need for variety in staff, you may not be fully aware of all the treatment options your loved one will need when they first enter into home health care. While a strong variety in staff will aid in quality of life and recovery, ultimately a medical professional will need to be regularly treating each new symptom as it develops. Some of the services you should look for include: wound management, radiology services, physical therapy, social work services, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, post-surgery care, cardiovascular rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, pain management, urology management, and rehabilitation nursing. Talk to your family member’s doctors about the types of care they’ll anticipate becoming necessary, and compare it to the list of services provided by the company in question.

Do They Take Your Insurance

It’s an obvious point, but one worth stating. Medical care in a form, particularly long-term care is extremely expensive. You need to make absolutely certain that the company you choose will work with whatever forms of medical compensation your loved one is able to access.

It is perfectly natural to feel overwhelmed by this sort of decision. You are trying to look objectively at a situation absolutely fraught with emotion. Try to strip away the people involved and itemize the quality of the business itself, and the commitment they have to their clients. This way you’ll be able to make the best decision for your family member without compromising your emotional strength.

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Why Home Health Care Is Best for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Whether an elderly loved one requires medical care for an injury or a persisting medical condition, it is likely that you’ve thought about either placing your loved one in a facility or opting for a home-based service. Many factors-such as cost, location, and level of care needed-play important roles in the decision-making process. It is often those same factors that lead families to choose home health care. Take a look at why this particular type of service is often found to be the best.

Home Health Care Versus Nursing Homes

No one likes to relocate, even if it is temporary. As a result, you can only imagine the potential frustration that would ensue if you were to uproot your elderly loved one to go stay in a nursing home. Whether it’s for ongoing medical treatment or because they require assistance to heal from an injury, many patients are unhappy about the move. While nursing homes are typically one of the first places that families think to send their elderly loved ones in certain times of need, it really isn’t your only option, and in some cases, it may not be the best choice, either.

Nursing homes are great, community-oriented facilities that provide on-site medical care to residents. Still, the personal attention at a facility doesn’t compare to that of a home-based service. Aside from the fact that nursing homes are more typically meant for long-term stays, the residents are forced to share the medical staff and resources. They are also forced to interact, whereas, in the comfort of their own home, the patients could receive the same level of professional care without the hassle of being forced to interact with others.

Home Health Care Versus In-Patient Hospital Care

Yes, when you’re sick, the hospital is the first place you would think to go for treatment. When it comes to a sick or injured elderly person, it may not be the most motivating environment for recovery. To be candid, patients in hospitals don’t always receive the best bedside manner from their doctors or nurses, perhaps due to the patient volume and perceived urgency of different cases. With home health care, the exact opposite is true. The medical professionals constantly communicate with doctors to ensure proper treatment, and they are focused on the needs of your loved one.

Whether your elderly loved one requires medical care for an injury or a persisting medical condition, you may find, like so many other families have, that home health care is the best solution. In comparison to other options, this method of service provides not only the most stable environment for your loved ones, but also the most consistent level of treatment geared towards helping your loved one regain independence.

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What to Look for in a Home Health Care Provider

Anyone in need of home health care deserves non-medical care or in home medical care that is compassionate whether the patient is a child, adult or elder. Home health care services are provided anywhere except for in nursing homes or a hospital. These services may even be provided at an assisted living facility, a school, apartment or house.

As far as care plans go, there are a wide variety of personal care and nursing services that are not just available, they are tailored for the needs of each individual recipient. Customized care plans and follow up assessments should be provided by a registered nurse.

Nursing Supervision and Case Management

The care that is provided by personal care assistants and home health aides is typically supervised by a registered nurse. One of these registered nurses should be on call at all times in order to assist the caregivers as well as to provide medical training and oversight and to implement the plans of care.

Elder or Adult Care

Are you aware of the fact that 75% of the health care costs in the US are incurred by only 12% of Americans? These people generally have some type of chronic illness. The benefits of this type of individualized home care include much more than just being able to keep someone at home for their illness as opposed to being institutionalized or put in a long term care facility. As far as cost goes, home care visits are roughly only 10% of what a single day in the hospital will cost.

Additionally, home health care has a track record that has been proven when it comes to things such as reducing readmissions to the hospital, expensive visits to the emergency room and in managing chronic illnesses. In addition, there is scientific evidence that has proven that patients are able to heal faster when they are in their own homes. Both morbidity and mortality rates are reduced in patients who take advantage of home health care. In fact, 90% of seniors facing long term care in nursing homes prefer to stay home and get the services of a home health care provider.

Private Elder Care Coordination, Planning and Management

This involves both advising and then assisting families when it comes to determining the necessities of an aging adult. These caregivers are able to navigate many of the long term type of care resources that are available in your area. The goal here is to educate and inform the family of what the options are and them to assist them with the implementation of their decision. Typically this is done by an RN who has been certified and specially trained in the area of geriatrics who can provide:

The services of being a liaison for family members who may live a great distance away
Educating and advocating for the patient
Assisting with paperwork and forms that are related to insurance, medical assistant and Medicare
Screening, arranging for and then monitoring any in home help or options for institutional or residential care options
Care planning that is tailored to the patient

In the long run home health care is a compassionate and caring choice for anyone who needs care and wishes to remain in their own home.

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