Home Care Saves Money

A recent study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has affirmed what several previous studies have reported – home health care reduces hospital re-admittance rates and saves millions of dollars.

Chrissy Buteas president and CEO of the home care association in New Jersey, one of the five state included in the report, said the study found that patients who got home health care had at least a 30 percent less chance of being readmitted to the hospital than those with similar conditions who did not get home health services. “Clearly folks who receive care at the home have great quality nurses and aids at their bedside to assist in having them recover, which ultimately prevents re-hospitalizations, especially for those patients with multiple chronic conditions,” Buteas said.

The study was conducted by the Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network, contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to improve quality of health care for Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Louisiana, and focused on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims from 2014.

The 30-day hospital readmission rate among beneficiaries receiving home health care services was 17.2 percent, as opposed to 24.5 percent among those who received a home health care referral but refused the service.

Dianne DeOliveira writes in the article, Home health care decreases hospital readmissions.  “The 30-day hospital readmission rate among beneficiaries receiving home health care services was 17.2 percent, as opposed to 24.5 percent among those who received a home health care referral, but refused the service. For patients living with multiple (four or more) chronic illnesses, the disparity was even greater – 23.7 percent of home health care recipients requiring a readmission as opposed to 31.8 percent of those who refused home health care.”
This study was conducted by Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network and was contracted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). What appears to account for these reduced readmission rates is that when people have access to proper care and support after they’ve been discharged from the hospital, they increase their chances of not only making the proper recovery, but also stay on top of any potential problems that can arise.

For patients living with multiple (four or more) chronic illnesses, the disparity was even greater – 23.7 percent of home health care recipients requiring a readmission as opposed to 31.8 percent of those who refused home health care. The study examined almost 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries and found that almost $7 million was saved for the health care system by keeping these patients at home and not having them readmitted into the hospital.