Skilled Home Healthcare Services
Cost Effective. Clinically Advanced. Patient Preferred.
Home healthcare services are available for patients who are homebound and require skilled nursing or rehabilitative care. Many healthcare treatments that were once only offered in a hospital or a physician's office can now be safely, effectively, and efficiently provided in patients' homes by skilled clinicians. Home healthcare is generally less expensive, more convenient, and as effective as care provided in institutional settings.
Approximately 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries in the U.S. receive home healthcare services annually while the sector employs nearly 500,000 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, home healthcare aides, and other practitioners.
Home healthcare can serve as an intermediate level of care for patients who have difficulty accessing outpatient care or who need intensive assistance with an acute or chronic health problem. For example, Medicare beneficiaries returning home after a hospitalization often receive home healthcare to assist them with the transition. Analysis demonstrates that the skilled home healthcare sector has the experience, structure, technology, and transparency best suited to meet patients' chronic disease management needs.
Per the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), skilled home healthcare visits permit beneficiaries to shorten or avoid post-acute stays at skilled nursing facilities and other higher cost post-acute care settings. Home healthcare helps patients avoid the inherent risks of hospitalization including infection, delirium, depression, infection and functional decline.
Home healthcare has proven to be highly effective for providing comprehensive primary care and reducing healthcare costs. For example, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) in response to the anticipated growth of the veteran population with chronic disabling diseases. Through this program, the VA has provided comprehensive primary care services to veterans in their homes since 1972. The program has proven to be highly effective in reducing preventable emergency room visits and inpatient hospital days, therefore reducing costs.