Ohio has been actively working to transform the state’s system of caring for seniors who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and a national coalition of home health care agencies has praised the state’s Office of Health Transformation’s proposal to coordinate care for this population.
The Integrated Care Delivery System proposal aims to provide high quality, cost-effective care to dual eligibles in their own homes, and looks to more effectively coordinate the Medicare and Medicaid benefits received by that population for the most clinically appropriate and efficient care.
A large part of the pilot program is increasing the use of home health care by Ohio’s 182,000 Medicare and Medicaid patients.
“We applaud Ohio’s leaders for advancing innovative pro-senior healthcare delivery reforms,” said Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “Enabling seniors to remain at home allows for better chronic condition management, improved outcomes, and lower costs. This plan is right for Ohio patients and Ohio taxpayers.”
Ohio also has a PASSPORT program which provides seniors with comprehensive support, allowing them to get care at home rather than in an institutional setting.
“I can’t think of anything more important to a senior than to be able to stay in their home with assistance rather than being put in a facility that they’re not comfortable with,” said Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio).
Ohio’s programs are models for other states looking to improve healthcare delivery and reduce costs, said Berger, who called upon lawmakers around the country to look into launching similar reforms and programs.
Utilizing home health care rather than institutionalized care can save billions, as a 2011 report by Avalere Health, LLC determined patients with chronic illnesses who received care at home saw rehospitalizations drop by more than 20,000 and reduced post-acute Medicare Part A spending by $2.81 billion between October 2006 and September 2009.
Written by Alyssa Gerace