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Home-Based Care Supports Patients And Caregivers

posted by AHIP

on November 17, 2021

As we mark National Caregivers Month this November, health insurance providers remain focused on the growth of home health care delivery. When people with acute or long-term illnesses can receive in-home care, everyone benefits.

The rise of telemedicine and the growth of in-home health care delivery have been a great help to caregivers, easing access to specialists, ongoing care for chronic conditions, and acute care.

The number of caregivers in the U.S. grew from 43.5 million in 2015 to 53 million in 2020, according to data from the National Association of Caregivers and AARP. That’s more than 20% of all adults.

Everyone had to make big changes quickly to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. Many offices closed and people learned to work from home. Schools also switched to a remote learning model. Our health care system had to change as well. Home-based care became a necessity to keep up with the surge in demand while helping patients and providers stay safe and socially distant. The digital future of healthcare rapidly became the present.

More than 12 million people live with serious illness for years. Only 11% of those patients are in the last year of life. As more people live longer with chronic illness – including ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 – the need for longer term and palliative care that allows patients to stay in their homes also grows.

A recent story in Harvard Business Review notes that “hospital at home” programs can enable hospitals to activate surge capacity when necessary, but also routinely provide high-quality care at a lower cost by leveraging telehealth technology, remote monitoring, and home visits.

“When I think about the future I think about our home as a place of healing that we can actually get better, said Amal Agarwal, Vice President of Home Solutions for Humana, in a recent Healthcare Strategies interview. Agarwal is also an emergency room physician and is enthusiastic about the growth in in-home acute care models.

Health Insurance Providers Embracing In-Home Care

  • BlueCare Tennessee, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Health Partners, and other health insurance providers have coordinated in-home vaccinations for homebound patients and their caregivers around the country.
  • Humana is building a value-based home health model, and to that end has acquired Kindred at Home and One Homecare Solutions to expand their ability to streamline care, coordination, and benefits management in the home.
  • Anthem’s acquisition of myNEXUS – a home-based nursing management company – will help them deliver support to approximately 1.7 million Medicare Advantage members in their homes.
  • SCAN Health Plan has launched a new model to provide care in members’ homes. “U.S. healthcare is having a ‘Back to the Future’ moment, increasingly moving care delivery to where people live, which usually best suits their needs,” said Dr. Payam Parvinchiha, SCAN’s vice president and medical director for Integrated Care