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Old 01-31-2009, 09:36 AM
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Default Home Health Industry is Growing Steadily

th_62 When Carol Lunceford got out of the hospital in September 2007, she knew she was going to need help to get around the house. Lunceford, 62, has lived with multiple sclerosis for 30 years, and one day she fell when her shower chair collapsed. She said she couldn't find the strength to pull herself up from the bathtub and stayed there until relatives found her two days later.

At the hospital, Lunceford was treated for an infection. Once released, she got home health.

"I was in bad shape. . . . I had to have someone 24/7," she said.

Her two daughters, working mothers who live in the area, help her on weekends and evenings. But nurse aide Eva Evans keeps her company on weekday mornings and assists her with bathing, getting dressed, shopping and getting her meals.

"She not only helps me, we also have become friends," Lunceford said of Evans, who works for Family Care Home Health Inc. Evans' 25 years of experience in home care is reassuring, Lunceford said.

Home health care has grown tremendously in the past 20 years all across the U.S. because of Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The industry continues to grow at a fast pace, area industry experts say.

About 7.6 million people receive care from 83,000 providers in the U.S., according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. In 2007, costs for home health care were projected to be $57.6 billion.

A report by the Virginia Association of Home Care and Hospice indicates that in the commonwealth there are 223 home-care organizations, including private-duty agencies, personal-care providers and home-health providers that do not receive Medicare.

Additionally, the report says, 244 Medicare-certified home- health agencies operate in the state. Virginia has 104 licensed hospice providers.

A growing population of seniors is expected to increase employment in home care by 51 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Patients, particularly the elderly, increasingly choose care in their homes rather than in nursing homes or other inpatient facilities, experts say.

Lunceford, for example, chose home care because it allows her to get medical assistance in the comfort of her home and keeps her from going to a nursing home.

"I am still a young woman. I like to have my own space, which I wouldn't have at a nursing home," she said.

Patients also choose home care because hospital stays are shorter now than they were in the past, she said.

"We used to recuperate in the hospitals years ago. Now we recuperate at home," said Bonnie Gordon, administrator of Family Care Home Health of Richmond.

Home care is also far more economical than health care, said Terri Thexton, president and chief executive officer of American Home Care in Richmond.

"An example is we can provide 60 days of home care for $3,100. . . . One visit to the emergency room on average is $7,500," she said.

Originally published by LAZO; Times-Dispatch Staff Writer.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:21 AM
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Sure is DG and I forcast it will keep growing and growing with the way the cost of hospital stays keep going up.
I have noticed even in hospice that the acuity of patients is also increasing.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:00 PM
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Opportunity: Knock Knock...

Haunted: Who's there?

Opportunity: A wonderful, rewarding job in Home Health.

Haunted: Cool! What do you want ?

Opportunity: You! We will provide you with orientation, a decent wage, mileage reimbursement and clinical support.

Haunted: How soon can I start?

Opportunity: Well, were not really hiring right now. Maybe you should try a facility in Northern California. Are you willing to relocate?

Haunted: I've already done that. I want to stay here and work!

Opportunity: OK, well can I come in and use your bathroom?
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:20 PM
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LOL Haunted!
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:41 PM
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ROFLPIP Laurie!

I've a few questions about the terms you use there:

Nursing home
LTC
HH

Nursing homes here are specifically for elderly people above a certain age. There are low and high level care beds available.

We have community health where we have nurses visit the community assisting with ADLs, medications, dressings, checking on mums post d/c from hospital etc.

There is Hospital in the Home, where nurses go out and administer iVABs to ppl who have PICC lines. But these are generally for daily type meds, or those that are continuous infusion.

Disabled ppl, who aren't acutely ill, are eligible for care in shared community houses with carers for 24 hour monitoring.

And of course there is home hospice/palliative care, as well as the official hospice.

Community health also have a centre where well baby clinics are held, immunisations are given, dressings are attended for those who need it, and things such as SPCs etc can be assessed and changed if necessary.

There are psychiatric community health nurses as well...
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:36 PM
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My husband had home health care after spending 4 days in the hospital recovering from hip surgery. He's far younger then most people who get hip replacements so everything was different physically and emotionally then what a lot of the med surg nurses were used to dealing with.

Home health was the best thing for us. For one he is not a "good" patient. He's food picky, and cannot sleep with any type of light or sound. He recuperated much faster at home and his risk of infection was lower at home then it would have been in that overcrowded hospital. The nurse came every day for about 2 weeks and the physical therapist 3x weekly for a few months. They were able to give us both undivided attention and educate us faster because there weren't 10 millon distractions.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:11 AM
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Bee, that type of short sweet and to the point feedback is exactly what Medicare needs to hear in order to continue to fund Home Health.

And to offset my horror story!
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:56 AM
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Home health is not going anywhere. It saves Medicare big bucks and they're constantly changing to try to ensure that they are not being ripped off. They used to pay the HH agency per visit and there was plenty of wiggle room for dishonest agencies. With pay per episode that cuts alot of that out but there are still agencies looking to abuse the system. The first one I worked for would keep recerting the patient even when they were in a goals met status. They would lie on the Oasis, knew the patient wasn't homebound and just looked the other way. Karma will get them.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:42 AM
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Nursing Home, also called a long term care (LTC) facility or a skilled nursing facility (SNF) can have more than one meaning. Most are residental places for the elderly or others who need around the clock nursing care. Some have more of a rehab focus, where there is intensive therapy and the folks who have a broken hip or a recent stroke are expected to go home at some point.

These services are paid for by insurance or Medicare, which is health coverage for those over 65. The long term care is paid privately or, most usually, by Medicaid, which is coverage for the very poor. In order to qualify, these folks have sold their homes and most other assests, and their pensions go to the facility for their upkeep. These people will die in the nursing home.

There are also independent retirement apartments and assisted care places (ALF, adult living facility) ..the latter are for those who need help dressing or with meals or bathing but do not need a NURSE's level of health care.

HH is home health, where visiting nurses go in to change dressings, teach diabetes, etc. for a period of time after a hospital stay or new diagnosis. The visits are intermittent--no one stays with the patient, so they need a family member or privately hired caregiver if they are really ill. Hope this helps with the confusing mess that we have here in the States!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:51 AM
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Thanks Pat for clearing that up. I think too many private duty nurses say they are doing home health and they just don't get it when I tell them they are not. They are both great jobs but totally different they just occur in the same place.
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