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Can Home Health Agencies Prevent Hospitalizations?

Home health agencies are the silent champions of the healthcare system, as they provide medical care to patients within their own homes. The purpose of these agencies is to minimize or even prevent hospital readmissions, which cost a fortune and are severely stressful, but the question which remains is - how successful are they?

Effectiveness of Home Health Care

Sadly, studies show mixed results on how effectively home health care prevents hospital readmissions. For example, a study that was published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that home health care does indeed significantly reduce readmission rates. The study concluded that the patients who received home care had about a 60% lower risk of readmission within the first 30 days in comparison to those without home health care. They also concluded that these patients had a lower healthcare cost because there were no or at least less readmissions.

On the other hand, a study that involved multiple hospitals did not find such great results. They concluded that there was no significant difference in the readmission rates between the patients with and without home health care.

Challenges and Considerations

While home health care is important and has significant potential, its effectiveness can be based on several factors. Some of the most important factors are the specific health condition of the individual, the quality of service, the patient’s support system and much more.

Home health agencies can play an important role in preventing hospitalization because they provide personalized and timely care, but it is important to acknowledge that their success is greatly dependent on the efficiency of care strategies, so make sure that you thoroughly research the home health care provider, before choosing.

Credits:

Effectiveness of Home Health Care in Reducing Return to Hospital: Evidence from a Multi-hospital Study in the US

CMS Home Healthcare Policy Reduced Hospital Readmissions

Patient Safety and Quality in Home Health Care

Primary Care Provided at Home Doesn’t Reduce Hospital Use, Study Finds

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