In the past ten years, the health care industry has
witnessed an explosion in the growth of home care services. Numerous factors
such as the aging of the population and other demographic shifts, changing
family structures, new patient populations, changes in diseases and
disabilities, new technological and scientific inventions, skyrocketing health
care costs, and new intervention to control these costs all increase the
numbers of people eligible for or seeking home care. The nature of home care is
evolving so rapidly it has become difficult - even for healthcare professionals - to keep abreast of myriad changes taking place.
In this timely book, Warren Balinsky shows how to increase access to home health care while simultaneously controlling costs and maintaining quality. He offers an insightful overview on how the home care health industry has evolved. And he reveals why home care has become the preferred form of treatment for many patients and caregivers and analyzes the specific patient populations for which it is most appropriate.
In addition to the obvious benefits to the patient - increased comfort and security, greater privacy and autonomy, more control of activities and decisions, greater confidentiality, and reduced risk of catching nosocomial infection - the author's research bears out that home care can be less expensive for targeted patient populations such as technologically assisted pediatric, elderly, and AIDS patients - the very patients who are the most costly to care for in an institutional setting and who can derive the greatest benefit and represent the largest cost savings when cared for at home. He shows how home care is better able to handle the medical, health and social welfare needs of these patient populations.
Using examples of successful
models - shared aide, hospice, and long-term home health care - the author
provides suggestions for improving the cost-effectiveness of home and community
based care. Some of the recommendations include targeting services to those
with the most severe disabilities, prioritizing institution diversion
strategies, investigating the utility of technological advances, and employing
case management with home care services tied to a fiscal cap.