As states consider how to best reduce the rising cost of home-based health-related care, Connecticut is considering significant changes to how seniors receiving service from Medicaid receive their medication. Currently, Connecticut is one of few states that allows only Registered Nurses are allowed to dispense medication to Medicaid patients receiving in-home care. This means that many nurses are visiting a senior’s residence once, or more per day, simply to give medications. According to Kaiser Health News, these nurse visits cost an average of $54 each.
However, a new bill in the Connecticut legislature would allow trained home health aides to give medication, as well. Nurses would still visit homes to assess patients on a regular basis; however visit devoted only to ensuring the delivery of medication would be significantly reduced.
Concerns about the bill include worries that home health aides may not recognize subtle changes in a client’s condition. However, many believe that a trained home health aide is in fact more likely to notice changes in client condition, since aides typically spend multiple hours in a senior’s home during a shift.
Homecare Software Could Help Facilitate Changes Like Those Proposed in Connecticut
Robust homecare software and homecare systems, like that provided by ClearCare, are one form of technology that may help the increasing responsibility of home health aides. While task reminders in homecare software and homecare systems are helpful when it comes to tasks associated with activities of daily living, they may be vital when it comes to the administration of medication.
Homecare systems and homecare software that offer point of care management, such as ClearCare, are capable of providing home health aides with tasks and notes that specify the times, types and amounts of medications that homecare clients require. Additionally, ClearCare’s homecare systems require that caregivers leave a text or voice note about reasons when a task is skipped, ensuring that is medications are not administers, a record exists as to why.
Additionally, as Connecticut and other states consider allowing home health aides to take on additional client responsibilities, homecare systems and homecare software can significantly improve communication between RN’s and home health aides administering Medicaid care. With secure log-ins to homecare systems portals, homecare software like ClearCare allows RN’s to review home health aide activity and monitor a patient’s condition from afar.
While Registered Nurses provide vital care to Medicaid clients receiving home-based health-related care, home health aides also play an important part in allowing seniors to age in place. However, with proper training and assistance from homecare software, home health aides may also play a part in reducing Medicaid costs in Connecticut and beyond.