Editor’s Picks: Health Providers Sync Up

This week, Home Health Care News readers were hot on the story of how one home health agency was able to cut hospital readmission rates by 75%. Readers were also into some of the dire consequences related to poor medication management by home health agencies and how one state has taken an innovative approach to increasing communication across the health system.

Here in the newsroom, we were tearing up over a video produced by BuzzFeed on the realities of Alzheimer’s disease.

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How One Home Health Provider Cut Readmissions 75%—Getting patients to comply with care institutions, whether following a specific diet plan or taking medications at the right time, is one of the biggest challenges for the home health industry. Health Recovery Solutions (HRS) is one startup tackling that issue, and it’s already seeing some great results after teaming up with HomeHealth Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine (HHVN).

Spotty Medication Management in Home Health Causes Dire Results—A significant number of home health agencies may be doing a woefully inadequate job of medication management, contributing to serious and sometimes fatal hazards that people are facing as they transition from hospitals to other settings. In the period between January 2010 and July 2015, about 3,000 home health agencies inadequately tracked or reviewed new patients’ meds, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal inspection records.

How Home Health Could Sync Better with Other Providers—Health care providers not communicating across care settings is one of the biggest issues of an evolving health care system that increasingly rewards care coordination. Vermont has partnered with PatientPing and Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) for a state-wide adoption of a program that enables health care providers to follow their patients if they are admitted into another care setting via a “ping.”


Weekend Reads

Trinity Health Launches Innovation Challenge, Offering $2 Million for Ideas that Address the Nation’s Most Challenging—Trinity Health launched its inaugural Innovation Challenge, offering $2 million in grants to identify, fund and implement ideas aimed at improving care and reducing readmission rates for patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

Tech Can Help the Elderly… If They Use It—Across the US, caregivers are turning to apps, devices and websites, collectively known as “age tech,” to do everything from manage medications to coordinate care, according to CNET. Though adoption of technology designed specifically for older family members has been slow, the market is huge and getting bigger.

Amy’s Adds

Better Aging Through Practice, Practice, Practice—As you age, try to get better at something—really try to get better with a commitment—a New York Times essay urges. “There are quantifiable benefits associated with taking up something like tennis and getting better at it,” writes Gerald Marzorati. “Your brain, it’s thought, will be recast and strengthened.”

BuzzFeed Gets Serious About Alzheimer’s Disease—This gut-wrenching video from BuzzFeed will give you all the feels.

Written by Amy Baxter

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