Alliance and Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine Host Capitol Hill Briefing

Guest Author: Steven Landers, MD, MPH
President and CEO, VNA Health Group
Board of Directors Chairman, Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation 

This past Tuesday, I had the privilege to moderate a Capitol Hill briefing as part of a collaboration between the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. The briefing focused on home health and its overall value to the health care delivery system, through a discussion on a supplement and corresponding Clinical Medical Education (CME) program in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.

The supplement, titled, “Optimizing Home Health Care: Enhanced Value and Improved Outcomes”, compiles articles from distinguished physicians, nurses and academics, who are experts in delivering health care at home. This research represents the Alliance’s support of peer-reviewed work demonstrating how home health can be used more effectively to address patient needs, improve outcomes, and lower costs in the Medicare system.

Fellow panelists included:

  • Peter Boling, MD, Chair, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP, Chief Medical Officer, Amedisys, Inc.
  • Mark Froimson, MD, MBA, President, Euclid Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Health System
  • Eiran Gorodeski, MD, MPH, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Executive Director
  • Margherita Labson, RN, MSHSA, CPHQ, CCM, Executive Director, Home Care Program, The Joint Commission

Below are a few highlights and key points from the information packed hour:

  •  The Amedisys care transitions initiative decreased the average 12-month readmission rate from 17 percent to 12 percent.
  • The VCU Medical Center implemented a hospital-based transitional care program (TCP) 12 years ago that has served more than 500 patients.  This program resulted in a decreased use of hospital resources— including fewer inpatient days, shorter lengths of stay, and fewer intensive care unit days— after enrollment in the TCP.
  • A home-based care path following Total Knee Replacement reduces the patient’s hospital stay and lowers readmission rates.
  • The Heart Care at Home program helps patients avoid the “black hole” of returning home after hospital discharge with complicated medication regimes and restrictions through visits with home care nurses and the use of telehealth.
  • Palliative care and home health can work in tandem to reduce pain and manage symptoms while still pursing curative or life-prolonging treatments. Two programs- Kaiser Permanente’s In-Home Palliative Care Program and Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM) program have been successful in their efforts. The Kaiser program delivers all service into the home and contributed to increased patient satisfaction and an average cost savings of $8,000 per person and a 52% reduction in readmission rates heart failure patients.

If you missed the briefing, please visit ahhqi.org to view the webcast and materials. We will also be bringing you a detailed blog post on each of the author’s articles in the coming weeks, so please be sure to check back here for updates!

 

Home Health News Roundup: Week of July 2 – July 6

Nursing home costs grow as home health costs stay flat, survey shows

A new study by Genworth focused on the change in elder care costs in 2011. While nursing facilities saw costs increase between 1.2 and 4.2 percent, home health costs saw no increase at all.

 

New Numbers on Elder Care

With the addition of elder care to the American Time Use Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics can now identify the segment of the population providing care to the elderly, as well as the types and frequency of care provided.

 

Study: Frequent Hospice Visits Can Help People Remain Home at End of Life

According to a new report highlighting the importance of hospice programs, patients who prefer to remain home at end of life are more likely to be able to do so if they get frequent visits from nurses and doctors.

 

New elderly care program controls health costs

A new type of elderly care program is saving money by allowing patients to live at home while receiving care and company at a day care center.

 

Use of electronic health records by post-acute providers improves care transitions, experts say

Experts believe the use of electronic health records by post-acute care providers can improve and ease transitions for patients during the recovery process.

 

CMS Wants to Cut Home Health Agency Payments by $20 Million in 2013

On Friday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the new home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rule to cut payment rates to home health agencies by $20 million in 2013. The proposed rule is expected to encourage efficiency and payment accuracy among providers.