Home Care Aids Patient Recovery and Reduces Hospital Re-Admissions by Charles Watson
Posted on January 29, 2022
Adjusting To Caring For Your Parents
The number of older children caring for their loved ones has reached over 44 million. Moreover, many take care of their parents while still raising their children, hence the term “sandwich generation.”
Times have changed; with medical advancements and technology, people are living longer than ever before, even with many more new health illnesses. Many of us didn't have role models for caring for the elderly as we cared for children. The worst part is that our parents don't want our help or don't want to be a bother. Their need for independence is vital—never did they think they would be leaning on their children for support.
It becomes essential to first come to terms with role reversal as you become the parents to your parents. For a majority of us, we have never seen our parents so vulnerable. The pain of watching them deteriorate is real. Also, the psychological impact is not to be taken lightly.
In many instances, old wounds begin to re-emerge—sibling rivalries flare up. But instead of looking at this as an extra burden, this can be an excellent time to heal those misgivings and deepen the relationship with one's parents and siblings.
According to The Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), up to 75% of hospital readmissions are preventable potentially, and "by motivating providers to decrease preventable readmissions, the US government expects to save costs of over $26 billion in the next ten years."
Hospitals are looking for ways to identify resources that can help reduce the readmission rates by preventing missing follow-up visits, difficulty complying with medication schedules, and poor understanding of red flag symptoms.
Private duty home care services play an integral role in these transitional periods by coordinating with medical services covered by Medicare and general medical insurance in order to provide the necessary care for a full recovery and prevent patient re-admittance.
A fully licensed, private duty home care company should offer complete Transitions of Care services to prevent hospital readmissions, including:
- Picking up the patient at the hospital or rehabilitation facility and providing safe transportation home for them and their equipment and belongings
- Monitoring medication compliance
- Picking up prescriptions, groceries, and supplies
- Helping prepare meals and ensure proper nutrition
- Transporting client to follow-up appointments
- Assisting with strengthening exercises per physical therapist
- Helping with activities of daily living while a person may be continuing to build strength
When a patient is admitted again to the hospital, it costs them, the government, and the hospital additional costs. Much more importantly, it causes the patient and their family emotional distress. It can be highly discomforting not knowing if you or a loved one will receive adequate care for a complete safe recovery after hospital admission.
Neither Medicare nor traditional medical insurance covers many home healthcare services that can help reduce otherwise preventable injuries and hospital readmissions. The services generally not covered under conventional insurance or Medicare, usually referred to as long-term upkeep or "custodial care," includes general supervision for health and safety, companion services, long-term home help with personal care and hygiene, transportation, meal preparation, and errands.
Even though Medicare does cover some home care, the patient must meet all of the following conditions:
- The patient must need professional nursing care or occupational, physical, or speech therapy on at least an intermittent basis and should be homebound and under a doctor's care.
- The services provided must be under professional health care's supervision and carried out as part of a home plan, especially for the patient.
- The patient should be eligible for the Medicare program, and the services sought must be medically reasonable and necessary.
- The home healthcare agency providing the services must be certified by the Medicare program.