Each year sees new trends in all sorts of things. The home health industry is one area where you might not think that there would be trends but there really are. As far as trends in this area go, since 2010 the trend has had to do with the Affordable Care Act. That is changing now and there are other things moving into the spotlight.
Readmission Rate Reduction
Money is always a factor when it comes to speeding up times for people to be released from the hospital but due to the Affordable Care Act, there is even more of a focus on money. There is a part of the Act that deals specifically with readmission to the hospital. Because of this, hospitals are now trying to discharge their patients even more quickly in order to reduce more health risks as well as to reduce costs. A direct result of this was seen last year when almost 18 percent of patients in Medicare had to be readmitted to the hospital after having been discharged for less than a month. That number does happen to be lower than the rate for 2013 but this is still around 2,000,000 people being readmitted each year which then costs Medicare an average of $26 billion. It is estimated by officials that $17 billion of that amount is from readmissions that were avoidable.
The thing is, care does not always end right when a patient is discharged from the hospital. Home health is a vital component in the prevention of additional health issues. By monitoring discharged patients closely and using the latest technology for software and data collection, all of the parties who are involved can benefit.
These days, both families with loved ones who are aging and health care providers are both asking quite a bit from the home health organizations. This can be difficult to handle and even more so if the organization is not being run efficiently. In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have projected that the payments Medicare makes to these home health agencies will see a reduction of up to $60 million. This new rule is just one of several rules that are said to show a strategy that is broader and administration wide in order to deliver care that is better at a cost that is lower through finding more efficient ways to use information, pay providers and to deliver care. In order to increase the efficiency of your agency, look for a system of software that will be able to let you know when the eligibility of a patient changes or when any billing change happens.
Regardless of what the trends are in the field of home health, your home health agency will always be one that is a necessity. If you stay abreast of changes then you and your agency will have the knowledge and the confidence that is required to be leaders in the field.