New Study Touts Value Benefits of Home Healthcare

January 22, 2016
Contact: Emily Adler

New Study Touts Value Benefits of Home Healthcare

Findings underscore home health’s ability to meet patient needs in a cost-effective manner

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare – a coalition of home health providers dedicated to improving the integrity, quality, and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation's seniors – today commended a new study by UCLA researchers published in the February issue of the peer-reviewed journal Medical Care.

The study found that patients who were referred to home healthcare following hospital discharge experienced better health outcomes and incurred lower costs. The study analyzed data for 112,620 patients treated at 217 hospitals in 39 states and looked at information from a national surgery registry and Medicare claims, in addition to American Hospital Association surveys from 2005 through 2008.

Skilled home healthcare utilizes an interdisciplinary team of nurses, therapists, social workers and aides, with care overseen by a physician, to ensure a patient’s complete recovery from an acute hospital stay or management of a chronic condition. Treatments and therapies once only available in an institutional setting are now safely and effectively administered in the comfort of a patient’s own home. In addition, keeping patients home is also a key source of savings for Medicare, patients and taxpayers alike.

“As Congress and the Administration continue to work towards a system that seeks and rewards value, we commend their attention to this study, which highlights the important role that skilled home healthcare plays for senior citizens and disabled Americans,” stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “Home healthcare has long demonstrated its value in enabling the delivery of clinically-advanced, cost-effective, and patient-preferred treatment to Medicare beneficiaries, and we believe its expanded use can deliver even greater value to patients and taxpayers alike.”

Today, skilled home health professionals serve one of the Medicare program’s most vulnerable patient groups. Data compiled by Avalere Health reveal that Medicare’s home health beneficiaries are older, sicker, poorer and are more likely to be female, a minority, and disabled than all other beneficiaries in the Medicare program combined. Nationwide, 3.5 million homebound Medicare beneficiaries depend on the Medicare home health benefit to receive skilled healthcare services in the comfort of home.

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