There truly is no place like home, which is why many elderly people are opting to stay at home rather than go to a skilled nursing facility. Recently, former president Jimmy Carter chose to begin home hospice care which has become the more a popular choice among aging Americans.
Over the last several years WellSky, a healthcare technology company, has seen a 20% increase in referrals for home care.
Ron Southwick of Chief Health Care Executive reports that “From January 2019 through September 2021, hospitals saw a 10% increase in home referrals and an 18% drop in referrals to skilled nursing facilities.”
Lissy Hu, of WellSky, attributes the growing popularity of home care to the pandemic. During the pandemic, many people were hearing horror stories about things happening in nursing homes.
Many people do not want to be away from their families. However, Hu emphasizes the importance of care coordination. In a nursing home, patients can have all their health concerns addressed in one place. When opting for care in the home, it is important to have all members of the treatment team on the same page.
Typically, primary care doctors have been used for referrals to other doctors and hospitals, but in the future primary care doctors will need to have more communication with community and home-based services. Hu describes home health services as “very fragmented” components in healthcare delivery. The hope is in the future, primary care providers will fill in the gaps. Additionally, hospitals are going to play a greater role in ensuring that patients opting to receive care in their homes will be able to have all their needs met.
Jimmy Carter starting that he is starting home hospice care does not come as a surprise with the growing number of people opting to stay in their homes. There are many moving parts to this (i.e., who will be providing care, how will it be paid for?). However, more acute care programs at home are being developed and companies are beginning to focus more on at-home care (i.e., CVS Health acquiring Signify Health).
If you have any questions about home care for your loved ones, you can contact us. You can also check out the rest of our blog posts on our website.
Written by Madison Chalmers
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik