In case you missed it, here are the top headlines grabbing readers’ attention this week, plus some other notable stories from around the web that caught our eye here at HHCN:
Home Health Dramatically Shifts Away from Post-Hospital Care — Between 2001 and 2012, the number of home health episodes not preceded by a hospitalization or a stay in a post-acute setting increased by 116%, according to figures from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).
Behind the Headlines Podcast: BrightStar CEO on Company’s Rapid Growth, What’s Next — In this week’s podcast, BrightStar Care’s founder and CEO Shelly Sun provides HHCN with a a behind-the-scenes look into the development into what Sun hopes one day will be a “$3 billion enterprise,” the challenges and opportunities for providers in the space and why passion cannot be overlooked in this line of work.
Spotlight on: Medicaid ‘coverage gap’ negatively impacts caregivers
Nearly a half million paid caregivers are shut out of Medicaid because states have rejected Medicaid expansion, according to a new analysis by Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI). Nearly a half million of the nation’s paid caregivers have household incomes below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but remain ineligible for Medicaid because they reside in one of the states that has refused federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility, the study finds.
“Direct-care workers are providing some of the most essential care to our nation’s elders and people with disabilities—experiencing high rates of on-the-job injuries, regularly exposed to communicable disease—and many can’t get the health care they need because they are falling into the ‘coverage gap,’” said PHI Director of Policy Research Abby Marquand, who conducted the study and authored the report.
Happy anniversary, Medicare and Medicaid
Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid being signed into law.
Before Medicare, U.S. seniors were at risk and unable to buy health insurance at a time when statistically they received only half of their pre-retirement income and were sick three times as often and hospitalized three times as long as their younger counterparts. Medicare helped assuage seniors’ worries by providing them with access to the best health care coverage at an affordable price, said Val J. Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, in a press release.
“What price would we place on helping our elders achieve a longer and healthier life?” Halamandaris said. “Surely we would be willing to do all in our power to give them freedom from worry, from the fear of going without care, and from the fear that they will lose all they worked for and wind up a ward of the state.”
Stat of the week:
Healthcare IT Market Will Reach $103.0 Billion by 2020—The global market for healthcare IT is expected to reach $103 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. The growth is being driven by demand for point of care diagnostics, home healthcare and the growing global base of geriatric population.
Medicare officially turned 50 this week, and the occasion prompted some evaluations of where the program is today and where it’s headed. One of these commentaries, in TIME, focused on how this could be an ideal moment to improve how Medicare support end-of-life care.
Written by Cassandra Dowell