Telemonitoring May Cut Costs, Not Hospital Admits, for Heart Patients

Telemonitoring has long been touted as a way to reduce hospitalizations. But when paired with home health care for heart failure patients, that may not always be the case. Still, there are reasons — from both a cost and outcomes perspective — for home health providers to consider implementing telemonitoring for this patient group. That’s […]

Palliative Care Has Grown Without Being a Cash Cow for Providers

Interest in palliative care programs has boomed over the last 15 years, but the adoption of this type of care has taken place largely in hospitals, according to a recent report in Health Affairs. But with palliative care now much more common, further growth could accelerate in home- and community-based settings. Palliative care—which focuses on providing […]

Home Care Could Help Target Preventable Health Care Use

Partnerships with providers of social services could be an avenue for reducing preventable health care use in older adults, and in-home care providers can play a role. With social determinants of health and population health becoming more prominent in health care, cross-sectoral partnerships with Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) could give home care and home health agencies […]

Care Coordination Among ACOs Could Actually Increase Admissions

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are designed to save money by fostering cooperation: By working together, providers across the health care continuum can hopefully save Medicare money and boost quality. But the largest share of the savings may simply come from shifting patients out of skilled nursing and home health settings, a new study suggests—and not […]

Millennials Are Key to Solving Looming Nursing Shortage

Millennials are breathing new life into the nursing industry even as baby boomers are retiring en masse. But home health care providers shouldn’t feel total relief over the influx of younger nurses, as the demand continues to tick upward. An average millennial is now 186% more likely to become a registered nurse (RN) than the average baby […]

Hospitals and Home Health Agencies Have Increasingly Common Investors

Home health care providers and hospitals are increasingly sharing a common investor—and the trend is raising questions about competition, care coordination and anti-trust regulations, according to a recent paper by Harvard University researchers. The percentage of acute care hospitals having common investor ties to post-acute or hospice sectors increased from 24.6% in 2005 to 48.9% in […]

Hospices May Profit From Live Discharges

More hospice patients are being discharged before their death, raising a question about whether hospice companies are financially motivated to do so. One recent study found there is in fact a positive association between higher hospice margins and higher rates of live discharge. Over the last decade, the “live discharge” rate—the rate at which patients are discharged […]

Hospice Care Linked to Lower Health Care Spending

Parts of the United States with high medical service costs would do well to embrace more hospice care. In fact, incentivizing hospice care in these regions may lower total health care costs nationwide, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs. For the study, Shiyi Wang of the Yale University School of Public Health and […]

Forbes: Business is Booming for Hospice Chains

The end-of-life care business is changing, and for large multi-agency, multi-state hospice chains, that means business is booming.  In fact, chains cared for nearly half of all hospice patients in 2011, a dramatic increase from a decade prior when small, mostly nonprofit, organizations provided 75% of all care, according to a recent Forbes article, which […]