How The Home-Focused Careforth Reduces ED Visits, Falls Through Family Caregiver Support

The United States relies heavily on family caregivers, so much so that the Biden administration has gone lengths to support them. Still, in order for family caregivers to actually reduce the cost of care in the home, they need to be given the proper resources and education.

Otherwise, patients are likely receiving – unbeknownst to them – subpar care that isn’t guaranteed to keep them out of more costly settings.

That’s part of the thesis behind the company Careforth, which is a family caregiver support platform.


A recent analysis conducted by the research and advisory firm ATI Advisory, on behalf of Careforth, found that the company was able to lower adverse health event occurrences and keep seniors out of costlier settings. By keeping them at home, Careforth says it saves approximately $60,000 per person. That’s, of course, through its family caregiver guidance. 

“From helping caregivers navigate the health care system, to providing them the tools they need to advocate for themselves and the person they care for, to coordinating referrals for necessities like lift beds or ramps, our wraparound support makes it more possible for care to happen safely at home,” Katie Tardiff, Careforth’s SVP of clinical programs and services, told Home Health Care News in an email. “We empower caregivers and provide the tools they need to ensure their loved one’s safety, reduce ED visits and remain in their homes and community – where they most want to be.”

Based in Boston and founded in 2000, Careforth provides care teams for family caregivers. Those care teams connect caregivers with local resources and provide education for dementia care, behavioral health care and other conditions. They do so via in-person at-home visits, as well as virtually.


The ATI analysis also found that there was a 46% lower probability of at least one injurious fall for Careforth’s patients compared to other dual-eligible individuals.

“After an initial evaluation and assessment, we match each caregiver with a coach and co-create a customized care plan unique to their circumstances and needs,” Tardiff said. “We educate caregivers and provide resources to create awareness, build knowledge and increase confidence so they are prepared to identify changes in condition of their loved one, and intervene to prevent outcomes like falls or emergency department visits. Equipping family caregivers is central to care plan development.”

Furthermore, Careforth helps reduce emergency department visits. There was a 21% lower probability of at least one ED visit in a year under its watch, according to the analysis.

Due to that nationwide caregiver shortage, and the millions of Americans that care for family members, self-directed or consumer-directed payment models have become more common.

The downfall, of course, is when there are either families taking advantage of the payment mechanism or there are underqualified workers trying to manage a loved one’s care.

Careforth’s goal is to negate some of those concerns, so that the seniors and the health care system are actually benefiting from the care being provided.

The care teams regularly connect family caregivers, too, with other home-based care providers.

“Careforth is always collaborating with home health, hospice and other community-based providers to ensure comprehensive care in the home,” Tardiff said. “When we identify needs or gaps in resources, we work with home-based care providers and community partners to fill those needs. It’s well known that home-based care requires a multitude of supports to be successful. It’s our mission to surround caregivers with connectedness so they can confidently care for their loved ones at home.”

The company believes that caregivers are most able to influence a senior’s health, which means empowering those caregivers will lead to better outcomes.

“It was important that Careforth undertake this third-party analysis of our Structured Family Caregiving program for a number of reasons,” Careforth President and CEO Matt Marek said in a statement. “First, the data helps us demonstrate the strength of our programs for policy makers as they seek approaches that support aging in place. Second, the findings help us shine a spotlight on family caregivers as a possible solution in addressing direct care worker shortages. And finally, and fundamentally importantly to Careforth, the data provides us insights so that we can meet our mission to continually improve our support to family caregivers.”

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