Healthcare at Home Blog Series: A Snapshot

COVID-19 continued a shift to home-based care and telehealth that is expected to continue and grow in the coming years

THE VBP Blog

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Through our new blog series, Healthcare at Home, we will take a deep dive into the transformative healthcare industry shift of utilizing the home as a healthcare hub. This is the first blog in our series. We will take a deep look at the shifting policy landscape, the increased need for innovation to deliver quality home-based health care services, and how patient outcomes can improve in an effort to increase the community’s knowledge of the growing trend.

While there was a need for and a push for home-and-community-based services in recent years, COVID-19 was the catalyst that forced healthcare services into the homes of more than just the elderly. With advances in technology the shift was already occurring, but COVID-19 accelerated the transformation as there was a need for consumers to connect with clinicians and providers from the safety of their homes during the pandemic. It also highlighted the impact of value-based payments on the healthcare industry.

Shifting Policy Landscape

The shift to providing healthcare services at home is also occurring on the policy front. On June 28, 2021, CMS announced the proposed rule for the 2022 Home Health Prospective Payment System, which seeks to expand the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model nationwide. This expansion comes on the heels of years of reporting and analysis that saw Performance Scores that were 8% higher among HHAs in HHVBP states than HHAs in non-HHVBP states in 2019.

Additionally, in early August 2021, the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 was introduced with bipartisan support by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Todd Young (R-IN). This Act would give more seniors the option to receive care at home for 30 days after a hospitalization, rather than going to a skilled nursing facility or other transitional settings by expanding Medicare.

Benefits of Healthcare at Home

Making healthcare more convenient by providing it from the comfort of consumers’ homes is crucial. An estimated 80% of patients surveyed would consider switching from a provider they are happy with if they found another more convenient one. This shows the importance of making healthcare easily accessible and what better way to do that, than coming right to a patient’s home?

Providing healthcare at home can also lead to better outcomes. A study published last year examined 43 hospital-at-home patients and 48 patients receiving traditional hospital care. Only 7% of hospital-at-home patients were readmitted within 30-days, compared to 23% of those receiving traditional hospital care.

While improved patient outcomes are the most important benefit, healthcare at home can also reduce costs. The same study found that hospital-at-home care was 38% less costly than traditional hospital care. The HHVBP model also saw an annual savings of $114 million to Medicare.

With improved patient outcomes and reduced costs, the shift to healthcare at home is a logical one and one that supports an individual’s choice to remain in their home rather than a hospital, rehab facility, or skilled nursing facility.

Advocate’s Perspective

We have always been strong advocates for HCBS and the trend of providing healthcare in a consumer’s home is also something we can get behind. Not only are patients more likely to seek care if it is convenient, but this allows individuals to remain at home instead of a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Despite the obvious benefits of providing healthcare services at home, for the shift to progress and to ensure that quality services are delivered, it is important to emphasize and expand value-based payment models.

In the next blog, we will take a deeper look at the political and shifting policy landscape that aims to spur the shift to providing quality healthcare at home.

Onward!

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About the Author

Fady Sahhar brings over 30 years of senior management experience working with major multinational companies including Sara Lee, Mobil Oil, Tenneco Packaging, Pactiv, Progressive Insurance, Transitions Optical, PPG Industries and Essilor (France).

His corporate responsibilities included new product development, strategic planning, marketing management, and global sales. He has developed a number of global communications networks, launched products in over 45 countries, and managed a number of branded patented products.

About the Co-Author

Mandy Sahhar provides experience in digital marketing, event management, and business development. Her background has allowed her to get in on the ground floor of marketing efforts including website design, content marketing, and trade show planning. Through her modern approach, she focuses on bringing businesses into the new digital age of marketing through unique approaches and focused content creation. With a passion for communications, she can bring a fresh perspective to an ever-changing industry. Mandy has an MBA with a marketing concentration from Canisius College.