McKnight’s reported on a recent study in Health Affairs indicating that some patients could return home without a negative affect on their health. Researchers found home-based care or alternative payment efforts limiting lengths of stay “are well-founded.” That is good news for people who want to return or remain at home. Author J. Michael McWilliams, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
“The overall demand in the market for facility care is going to fall. The train has left the station and it’s only going to gain speed. It may not be the most strategic move to resist [the changes].
The reimbursement policy is very arbitrary and encourages what would appear to be excessively long stays according to another researcher. Decisions need to address health needs and not financial remuneration.
Benefits of Home Health
Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam released a study showing elderly people receiving home health care live longer than nursing home residents. The life expectancy is on average one year longer than those residing in nursing homes. In-home nursing services generally provide broader care. Nurses often visit the elderly several times a day and take upon more tasks.
“Further research is needed. But moving to an institution often causes enormous disruption,” said Jack Jansen from the care organization MeanderGroep. “The elderly are being pulled out of their social context. In dementia, we often see rapid deteriorations.”