A study performed by the Cleveland Clinic has proven that discharging patients from hospitals to home healthcare saves a per patient average of $6,433 in the first year after discharge, and reduces readmissions by 18% and deaths by 20%. The full report is entitled "Impact of Home Health Care on Healthcare Resource Utilization Following Hospital Discharge: a Cohort Study" and will be published in the American Journal of Medicine.
What should we do as a result of this study?
These results are not a surprise to any of us, but it's great to know that our industry is reducing the cost of care and improving health outcomes.
Here are some steps we can take based on these results:
Take a step back and enjoy the good news!
Thank our people! It's our staff who make this all happen
Think about how to make home care even better
How do we make home care even better?
Our industry has many advantages, including the "tailwind" of a growing market. Here's what we should be preparing to do next:
Prepare for ongoing chronic care and population health: We will be increasingly asked to manage ongoing care for higher risk individuals
Add non-medical care to your portfolio of services: Most readers of this blog provide non-medical home care services, but since the study results above come from the certified home health side we're taking the opportunity to promote the concept of combining home care with home health. This can be a blog article of it's own, but in short, having non-medical caregivers provide more frequent in home services under the direction of nurses rather than fewer nursing visits can provide a better care experience at lower cost.
Be ready for "managed care": In order to compete in the emerging models of reimbursed care, you will need to manage against authorizations. This is a standard practice in certified home health but rather than managing a 60 day episode of care, you'll be asked to manage ongoing care with specific care plan items (combining both health care management tasks and tasks that support activities of daily living [ADLs])
Congratulations to all on this study. To learn more, please download the free eBook Blueprint for the Next Generation of Home Care.
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.