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Senior Citizen's Guide to Connecticut

Home Health Care
Now Clearly Part of the Solution

When I started my career in home health 25 years ago most people had no idea or very limited understanding about exactly what we were doing in patient’s homes. In those glorious fee for service days home health care was almost imperceptible to payers and a minor consideration to referral sources that simply saw us as a community service available to patients that might need a little extra support following a hospitalization.

Not anymore.
Home health care is growing at a trajectory that mirrors the demographics of American society. Advances in technology, pharmacology and medicine have fueled the expansion of the industry which has further benefitted from the simple fact that Dorothy put so eloquently: there’s no place like home.

In today’s health care environment, providers across the continuum are challenged by the dual goals of delivering quality service within ever tightening financial constraints. These tough realities are even more sobering amidst an unprecedented competitive and regulatory climate. As health care becomes more transparent and consumers shift from passive receivers of care to active participants and decision-makers, the winning providers will be those that truly master the art and science of collaboration. Respect and understanding are two of the most basic elements of real collaboration—it’s time for home health care to be embraced for the vital and practical solutions we can offer to other providers who are invested in helping patients “live their best lives”.

We’re here to help!
Home Care agencies have the benefit of seeing patients in their familiar and every day environment – their homes. We have first-hand knowledge that can be marshaled to support medication and dietary compliance. We know about the family dynamics—or dysfunction—and we can offer real suggestions for engaging patients and caregivers in a viable plan of care. We can tell if the home is safe and advise our partnering hospitals and physicians about changes that can be made to avoid an unnecessary readmission. In partnership with primary care physicians, specialists and hospital staff, we can reinforce the education a patient receives in the office or prior to discharge—and we can make sure the patient stays in touch or gets in touch when a condition changes or new issues come to light.

This is all good news for patients and family caregivers since it means that the collaboration among doctors, hospitals, home health agencies and other providers is going to be an identified value for quality care. It is now clearly recognized that providers that weave the plan of care together actually have better outcomes for patients. The opportunity for innovation and collaboration with other sectors around care transitions is something I know my home care colleagues are genuinely ready to tackle.

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