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The Evolution Of Home Health Care

Author : Georgia Landarie


The practice of Home Health Care is a fairly new idea in the world of elderly care services. It was a little over a hundred years ago when health care services were made available in the homes of senior citizens. These care services caught on and soon became a popular practice. There are many benefits of Home Health Care including your loved one being able to stay in their home and remain close to friends and family. This allows them to have a level of independence while still having their health monitored.

October of 1929 caused a major setback in the progression of home health care all over the United States. This was the beginning of The Great Depression, when many, including home health care agencies struggled to stay in business. This went on until the Medicare Act of 1966 covered followup visits for patients just home from the hospital. This made home health care more affordable and practical for people that needed medical assistance, but not wanted to pay the high hospital bills.

The next event in the Home Health Care journey was the Patient Care vs. Medical Ethics debate. Some of the subjects discussed in this debate are still issues today. The focus of this hot topic is the cost of health care. Home Health Care providers and insurance companies have long been arguing over the cost of domiciliary care and how long the care services should be reimbursed to care for elderly that are no longer beneficial to society.

The bottom line to the dispute was that one group was trying to shorten hospital stays to lower hospital costs while another was trying to lower the number of days of Home Health Care covered by insurance. Both of these endeavors were hurting the home health care agencies by increasing the number of days needed with a home health care provider but decreasing the number of those days that would be covered by health insurance. Because the health care services were becoming better, they were also becoming more expensive and without insurance, many people were unable to make all of their payments. Because of this, many agencies went out of business.

Even though a family may not be able to pay for Home Health Care, most prefer the benefits. Nosocomial diseases, or infections or illnesses caught in a hospital, increase recovery time and could even lead to death. These are avoided with home health care services. People may be able to keep working while being monitored by a caregiver, unlike hospitalization. The downside the home health care services is when days covered by Medicare run out and they aren't fully recovered. Patients may need to be discharged too soon, before they have received a clean bill of health.

There are few options for a patient that is sure their recovery will take longer than the number of Medicare days. They can check into a hospital multiple times to gets more days, or they can attempt to cover the Home Health Care costs themselves. This puts a lot of strain in the patient's family to deal with all the transportation and bills. Home Health Care agencies will do their best to work with patients, but they simply can't stay in business if they are working for free. These are the problems that health care professionals are trying to find solutions to.

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Tags:   services, agency, agencies, nursing

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Submitted : 2011-07-28    Word Count : 592    Times Viewed: 476