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National Experts Gather to Examine Future of Home Health Care in America

September 30, 2014
Contact: Emily Adler

National Experts Gather to Examine Future of Home Health Care in America

Institute of Medicine/National Research Council hosts workshop to improve understanding of home health’s role in the future of the U.S. health care system

Nationally recognized academics, health care providers, policy experts, researchers, and home health consumers are gathering in Washington, DC today to take part in a workshop hosted by the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council (IOM-NRC) on the future of home health care entitled, “The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop IOM-NRC Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence,” sponsored by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance).

The goal of the two-day workshop is to engage stakeholders from across the health care delivery system to gather varying perspectives on the state of home health in America today, and the future role of home health in caring for the nation’s growing population of senior and disabled patients. Specifically, the workshop participants will address how home health can best be leveraged in achieving the Triple Aim in health care, which includes improving the patient’s experience of care and population health and reducing per capita costs.

Workshop participants will be examining the current state of home health care, the evolving role of Medicare home health care, the Triple Aim of improving the patient’s experience of care, improving population health, and reducing per capita costs, innovative models of care, necessary investments in infrastructure, workforce, research, measurement, and technology, and policy reforms and strategies needed to recognize the value of home health care.

“The Alliance is proud to sponsor today’s IOM-NRC workshop, which brings together a broad group of stakeholders to specifically address the strengths, needs and opportunities for home health in our health care system. Over the course of the next two days, we are sure to uncover innovative ideas and approaches to health care delivery that will help us to shape home health in the future,” said Dr. Steve Landers, President & CEO of VNA Health Group and Chairman of the Alliance. “As the next phase of our Future of Home Health Project, I look forward to using what we learn at this workshop to work with policy makers, home health leaders and others to prepare home health to fully meet the needs of America’s seniors and Americans with disabilities.”

The Alliance’s sponsorship of this workshop is the second phase of its Future of Home Health Care Project, a research-based strategic framework development project on the future of home health care in America. The Future of Home Health Project aims to clarify understanding of the current role of home health care, improve understanding of how it will be used in the future for seniors and Americans with disabilities, and identify the key issues and challenges that need to be addressed to achieve improved health care.

Key to the workshop is the participation of home health care consumers who are sharing their personal perspectives on how home health affected their loved ones and improved patients’ quality of life, including
Jimmy Martinez, whose family was recently profiled in the Alliance’s Faces of Home Health Series.

Mr. Martinez’s father, an 81 year-old patient who lived with vascular disease and congestive heart disease, had recently had four toes amputated when he was prescribed home health by his physician following a hospitalization. Mr. Martinez’s home health care team provided wound support, medication management and telehealth services. They also prepared Mr. Martinez and his son to manage his various conditions and medications on their own. The family credits home health with helping Mr. Martinez avoid additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

“The human element of home health is an essential part of this conversation because without their perspectives we cannot fully understand the current state of home health or how we can improve in the future,” said Teresa Lee, Executive Director of the Alliance. “The outstanding group of experts and consumers taking part in this workshop underscores the growing interest and increased understanding all stakeholders have regarding the value home health adds to our health care system as well as the need to design a framework that supports a strong future for home health.”

The Future of Home Health Care: A Workshop IOM-NRC Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence is taking place on September 30 and October 1. Following the workshop, the IOM/NRC will release a summary detailing the proceedings, key themes and issues identified during the workshop.

To view the workshop via live webcast, register here. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #FutureofHH.