A proposed Medicare settlement that would allow more patients to receive home health care services could keep seniors from needing more expensive care – such as in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Although the settlement could cost the government more initially, experts believe it will save money in the long run.
“My view is that if we build care coordination into the system, we’d save money,” remarks Kenneth Thorpe, chairman in the department of Health Policy and Management at Emory University. ClearCare has been an advocate for care coordination through non-medical home care since its development of the home care system – the most sophisticated way to schedule and track patient care. Families and care providers that use ClearCare’s home care software can communicate more efficiently as well, saving time and reducing confusion.
Guidelines Changed for Medicare Settlement
Under the proposed settlement, the Department of Health and Human Services agreed to adjust guidelines to allow skilled nursing and therapy services for seniors who are unable to prove their medical conditions will improve with time. More than 100,000 individuals previously denied skilled care before the settlement will be allowed to apply again.
Taking out the “improvement standard” that denied care for chronically ill or elderly patients will make it easier for people to qualify for skilled at-home care. In addition, the Medicare policy would be clarified so that claims from providers would be reimbursed on a more consistent basis.
How Home Care Helps Patients
Patients often leave the hospital with little to no follow-up care, and one in five ends up back in the hospital within one month – costing Medicare billions of dollars every year. This often happens because patients don’t understand their doctor’s instructions or take medications that don’t interact well with each other. Although not covered by Medicare, non-medical home care is being discussed by health system leaders as a key component of keeping seniors out of hospitals. Such cases can be prevented with quality non-medical home care – specifically a reputable agency that offers ClearCare’s home care system and home care software.
Using technologically advanced home care software allows caregivers to manage and monitor patient care from beginning to end. Entering data into ClearCare’s web-based home care system eliminates the need for flimsy paper care journals that can easily be misplaced. Families enjoy using ClearCare’s home care software via their mobile phone or computer to “check in” on their loved ones and see that critical daily tasks have been completed as scheduled.
Working with a reliable home care agency that provides a home care system like ClearCare may also mean fewer patients having to move into hospice care before they are ready. As of 2009, 18 percent of patients who left hospice care left alive after receiving consistent coordinated care, according to reports from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
As the creator of the most dependable home care system and home care software on the market, ClearCare will continue to support improvements made in the home care industry. What kind of changes would you like to see take place? Let us know your thoughts!