Today's guest post is from Stephanie Lynch. Stephanie is a freelance writer who works for the cost-helping database Howmuchisit.org. She currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona, and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, the great outdoors and spending time with her family.
A common question you may see online when researching long-term care is: Is home care cheaper than assisted living? Since there are so many factors involved with the pricing, it’s hard to come up with a definite answer; however, in some studies, the costs can be similar to an assisted living facility, but almost half of a nursing home.
To give you a better idea what home care is going to cost, here are five factors to consider when looking at quotes.
The Type of Care Required
A home care agency can offer more than babysitting services. They can also help with the following:
Change clothing and/or diapers
Feeding and helping with special diets
Transferring and positioning
Generally, the more activities that need to be done, the more it’s going to cost. The more complicated services, such as injecting an IV, may be left to a registered nurse who has to travel to the home. Studies have shown that even a simple aid can start at $15 per hour. Aids who have to stay overnight may charge 30% more.
Will Non-Medical Services Be Included?
Many at-home health care services will do more than help the patient with medical services. This can include doing simple housekeeping chores such as doing the laundry and cooking meals. They can also help with grocery shopping and transporting the patient to doctor visits. If these housekeeping services are needed, this can increase the hourly/daily rate.
What Kind of Professionals?
Home care services are staffed by all sorts of people ranging from an aid with no medical knowledge to a registered nurse who can come in to administer medications. Touching on tip one, the more knowledge this individual has and the more often they have to visit, the higher the costs can be per hour. So again, an aid could demand $15 per hour, while a registered nurse may charge $50 for his or her one-hour visit. Other simple factors can affect the price as well, such as:
The Time Needed
How long does this professional have to be here? Since these services will more than likely charge by the hour, the longer they have the stay, the more you will pay. Most nurses and doctors should be at the home for less than an hour.
If a doctor or nurse has to travel further than what they normally do, most will tack on either a mileage surcharge or will increase the rates. This often applies to those who live in areas that are further from a town/city center.
The Geographical Location
With anything you purchase in life, your local cost of living will greatly affect the price you’re going to pay. This is why a dozen eggs may cost $7 in Hawaii. A home care service in New York City will cost much more than a service in the woods of Mississippi.
The Company and/or Individual
Whether you hire a private individual or use a third-party service, each company will have its own policies and pricing. Similar to the geographical location, all companies won’t be created equal. A reputable company in town may charge 35% more than a company that just started. With anything, the more services you receive and the more reputable the company is, the more you will probably be paying.
Home care is a wonderful option since it won’t disrupt one’s life. While the costs may seem high to some, it doesn’t mean you won’t get what you pay for. You have to remember these individuals have to dedicate their attention to the patient for the time they are there, and if you have ever babysat an older person who needs help, you probably know how much work this could be.
One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful. Please click the link or the picture below to download. If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.