In the previous 10 years, a noteworthy change has occurred in how payers, consumers, and providers consider home health. When the Responsible Care Act became law in 2010, advanced charge and repayment models influenced how payers and providers peeked at how home care was moving to create a better experience – enhanced quality at a low price. And how advanced payment models could help greater affordability and lower healthcare price as the population ages and the Baby Boomer people grow. New payment models like these created a chance for innovation.

Since 2010, there’s been a massive transformation in what home care means and what care in the home glimpse like. technology, Payment changes, models, and consumerism have driven that. So do people and their families’ preferences to be healthy and recover in their home environment.

What types of technology are shifting home care’s evolution?

Three kinds of tech are driving home care’s evolution. First virtual visiting, in which patients visit with their physicians and other care team members through telephone or video. Virtual visits are suitable and highly available for patients everywhere and have earned traction pre-COVID-19. During the pandemic, they’ve been readily embraced as a safer means of receiving care, supported by positive transformations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy and medical coverage by insurers. Virtual visits have enormous potential as a real-time solution for having certain types of care efficiently across large populations — necessary as the Baby Boomer generation ages. And today’s most advanced care delivery models, such as home recovery care that provides hospital services to patients at home, leverage virtual visits in a mixture with traditional in-person visits with great success. 

The second type of tech that’s been climacteric is remote monitoring, which includes wearables and medical supplies enabled by microprocessors, Bluetooth, the Internet, and other technologies. These devices make it likely to collect and transmit actionable blood glucose levels, pulse oximetry, and real-time data related to blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and more. While these devices have been in the marketplace for some time, combined with today’s more sophisticated predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, they allow clinicians to notice when a patient’s health is declining and to proactively intervene earlier, an exciting development in guarding the health of patients upstream. 

Finally, the third type of tech is the analytics report — both business and care analytics that help the healthcare industry to be more strategic around their home-care operations and to be better notified about their patient’s health, including risk factors, optimal care models, and interventions that can enhance health and longevity.

Quality Measurements

National home health care quality measurements gathered for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Home Health Compare website recommend that home health agencies provide high-quality services according to key process measures, Rosati said, with home health agencies delivering:

  • Reviews for depression and the risk of falls 98 percent of the time,
  •  Teachings to family members 93 percent of the time, and
  •  Punctual initiation of patient care 92 percent of the time.

The intermediate performance is somewhat inferior for health outcome measures, which, in part, mirrors the debility of people who require home health care, Rosati said. For example, some performance measurements indicate:

  • Postsurgical wound advancement or healing 89 percent of the time,
  •  Deduction of pain when moving around 68 percent of the time,
  •  Advancement in walking or moving around 62 percent of the time, and
  •  Readmission to the hospital within 60 days, 16 percent of the moment.
  •  Seventy-nine percent of patients say they would advise their home health care agency to friends and family.
  •  Eighty-four percent gave the overall care that they received from the home health care agency a rating of 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale;
  •  Eighty-four percent noted that the home health care team discussed pain, medicine, and home safety with them; and
  •  Eighty-five percent stated that the home health care team communicated well.

Repayment

In recent years, the federal government has cut Medicare repayment for home healthcare services, and soon, another $25 billion “will be taken out of the home healthcare system,” Rosati said. Another origin of cuts has resulted from states’ moves to manage long-term care for Medicaid recipients, which has shortened the hours of patient care furnished in the home. Additional drops in commercial payers’ reimbursements and Medicare Advantage, Medicare’s managed care program, have happened.

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