America’s headed toward a “geritocracy,” says a home health care association regarding the aging of the massive boomer generation, and health care reform initiatives could forge “crucial” alliances between the home health care industry and hospitals to continue a substantial growth trajectory.
The Northwest Herald reports:
[The] National Association for Home Care & Hospice has been working to develop nationwide licensing standards, and a method by which consumers can weigh in on particular companies, [association President Val Halamandaris said].
…all too often home care services “exist in a vacuum.” He urged federal and state leaders to eliminate many of the convoluted rules that prevent home health care from qualifying for Medicare reimbursement.
Starting next fall the Department of Health and Human Services will begin penalizing hospitals if their Medicare readmission rates are higher than expected. One in five Medicare patients who leave a hospital will be readmitted within 30 days.
“Health-care reform is on everybody’s mind right now, but there are a lot of unknowns,” [said Eric Little, senior vice president of franchise development for Right at Home]. “What we do know is that whatever they decide it is going to affect all of us. We are keeping very close tabs on it. … Our founder worked as a hospital administrator before this. He saw (those) coming to their hospitals being sent home and there was no real care at home. … Fast forward to today and the same problem still exists.”
Halamandaris said since 5 percent of the public is responsible for half of all health-care costs, creative approaches and new alliances could prove crucial moving forward.
“We’re starting to look at the health-care community as partners rather than as competitors. We’re starting to break down the silos that exist between hospitals and doctors and home health,” Halamandaris said. “Our salvation is in our working together.”
Read the full piece here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace