“Healthcare’s Transformation”

I have put the title in quotes, because it is part of the title of an article by Dr. Steven Fox, Medical Director, Wellspring Personal Care, just published in The Remington Report.  The title continues, “Don’t Forget About ‘Big Jim’ The Patient!”

Wellspring Personal Care’s Dr. Fox and President Sheila McMackin, LCSW, are at the forefront of what is happening in health care and Medicare reform.  As leaders in the home care industry, they have a very good understanding of the role that industry must play in order for reform to be successful.

Dr. Fox’s article makes some very important points about what is going on.  Anyone familiar with health care

is aware of the incredible focus and systemic pressure on hospitals and all providers to reduce and eliminate 30 day readmissions.  There will be more failure than success in addressing this problem.  As the primary intent and purpose of reducing readmissions was to reduce the cost of care, improvements in patient care was not.  “Successful” hospitals and institutions will be measured by the dollars they saved and not the care they provided.  As such they would’ve cleared the first and perhaps lowest hurdle of the Affordable Care Act.

Unfortunately, Dr. Fox is spot on in his analysis.  The name of the new law says a lot.  Whether health care will be affordable under it is a huge debate.  The fact that its focus is cost and not quality is not.

This Way to Re-admissions!

This Way to Re-admissions!

As Dr. Fox points out, the research used to establish drastically lowered goals for hospital re-admissions comes from administrative, not clinical data, and the two sources are not very close.  But, the new goals are real, and they are not going to go away.  Those of us involved in health care have to respond quickly and well, or the patients will suffer – as will our businesses.

The greatest risk for re-admissions occurs in days ~6-30 after discharge.  The hospitals no longer are managing care.  Home health agencies are with the patient (if lucky) perhaps twice a week for an hour or two.  And yet Dr. Fox is optimistic about the future:

Private duty health care [as provided by members of NPDA / Home Care Association of America] has significant advantages in being able to provide consistent patient care, monitoring and observations.  These caregivers can identify changes in condition that can be promptly and effectively treated at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.

There is no question that we can and should – make that must – reduce 30-day re-admission rates (almost 25% of Congestive Heart Failure patients, for example, are re-admitted, currently).  Integration of non-clinical home care with the clinicians involved – inside and outside of hospitals – is critical to making it happen.

Your thoughts on this vital topic are very welcome.

Best wishes.  Bert


2 responses to ““Healthcare’s Transformation”

  1. I was looking on the internet to find some options on how to care for my elderly parents in West Palm Beach, FL. I found a great website with lots of pertinent info. Check it out at http://www.seniorhomecareadvice.org maybe it can help you too.


  2. It seems you understand quite a lot with
    regards to this subject and that exhibits thru this particular blog post, termed “Healthcares Transformation | Support For Home In-Home Care”.
    Regards ,Karine


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