Continuum of Care: Home Health Care

This paper will explain the components of the Home Health Care delivery system of continuum. The reader will be able to understand some of the services provided by the home health care system and how they fit into the continuum of care. It will give details on how the entity does or does not contribute to the overall management of healthcare resources. In conclusion, it will examine the future trends of health care and discuss how the home health services will be impacted or have a need to change to meet future trends.

The continuum of home health care pertains to the diversity of health care services rendered for the existence of a person’s life. Home health care organizations offer nursing services or therapy to persons in their homes that do not require hospital confinement but are in need of specialized care. There will be services provided by experienced and qualified nurses, knowledgeable pharmacists, encouraging therapist, concerned social workers, competent nutritionist and compassionate aides to assist wherever needed.

Some home health agencies are eligible to offer on-site home infusion pharmacy; an intravenous administration of medication to patients in their own homes (UVA, 2008). Continuum of care also offers nutritional products, prescribed medication and any type of infusion equipment needed at home by the patient. The Federal Law states, home health patients has the freedom to choose the agency that will provide the best home care service that fits their needs. Section 1802 of The Social Security Act “seeks to ensure that free choice is guaranteed to all Medicare patients”.

The law states: ‘Any individual entitled to insurance benefits under this title [i. e. , Medicare] may obtain health services from any institution, agency or any person qualified to participate under this title if such person, agency or institutional undertakes to provide him/her such services(UVA,2008). This statement grants patients the ability and right to choose who they want to provide them services after a hospital stay. All staff members, including nurses go through a thorough hiring process and are monitored and assessed on a regular basis to ensure updated comprehension and proficiency.

Each staff member should display a high echelon of outstanding care due to their impressionable experience levels and infinite amount of training. The majority of them will have advanced credentials in specialty areas. The nurses and other staff members emphasize family and patient education to increase the possibility of independence. The Clinical Staff Executive Committee provides clinical supervision and ensures the staff works hard to keep up the excellent reputation and provide patients superb quality of care.

This is accomplished by supporting and encouraging staff to engage in continuing education and ongoing in – service programs. Continuum of care staff uses national therapy standards and guidelines to help the patient manage specific diseases. The program should be able to instruct patients and their caregivers how to self manage their diseases. The goal of the Continuum of care is to avoid unnecessary hospitalization. Most agencies are focused on Heart Failure, Diabetes, Incontinence, COPD, rehabilitation, psychiatric nursing, wound care and after surgery care.

Continuum of care therapy program is designed to improve self care, problems with mobility, communication, pain and even swallowing management. Eligibility and coverage of continuum home health care services is based upon who is paying for the services; Managed Care, self pay Medicare or Medicaid. On average, the patient has to be homebound where he or she infrequently leaves home for no more than health reasons and when done it requires a lot of effort and assistance from someone. The patient must not require around the clock care and it must be ordered by a physician.

Most importantly, care must be medically required The entity contributes to various specialty areas in healthcare. Continuum home health care has been in existence for many years but certainly not by that name. Decades ago, physicians made house calls out of necessity and caregivers consisted of family members and friends. More options are given today based on the needs on the individual. There have been changes in health care in regards to reduced hospital stays and elderly populations which are both reasons for home health, hospice and skilled nursing facilities a part of today’s growing health outlook.

All of these approaches to health care serve a special yet significant role in the development of contemporary health care. Continuum of home health includes many services for various types of patients. Included but not limited to any age of disabled people, elderly, the chronically ill and persons recuperating from severe illnesses. Continuum of home health care could be in conjunction with home-meal delivery. This service provides the qualifying patient with two meals per day. These services will guarantee the patient has a balanced lunch and inner to keep them nourished. Most critically ill patients and elderly patients go on with their day with out eating breakfast or any other meal, basically because they can’t remember when they last ate a meal or don’t have the energy fix something to est. There are outreach laboratories that provide home bound patients with phlebotomy services for blood and other specimen collections. This service is convenient to people that have transportation issues or have family and friends unavailable to provide for their needs.

Continuum of home health care can be provided by various kinds of agencies, organizations, private individuals. A great deal of research should be done before choosing a service. The most important thing to remember is to decide on what best fits you and your families needs. Most services have a 24 hour and 7day week availability. They assume responsibility for their personnel and liability for all care. According to the National Association for home Health; Approximately 7. 6 million peoples in the United States need some type of home health.

As of January, 2007, there are over 20,000 home health care providers. Roughly two-thirds of home health recipients are over 65 years old and almost two-thirds are women. Approximately 38. 3 billion dollars were estimated to have been spent on home health care in 2003. Medicare is the leading single payer in home health services. The expenditure for Medicare services in 200 was estimated at 31 percent. The Continuum of care home health services has proven to be very rewarding and useful in the past years (NAHC, 2008). No one knows what the future holds but, the needs of people change on a daily basis.

More people’s bodies are riddled with illness and diseases and all manner of sickness. Insurances are dictating what can and can not be allowed when utilizing your services. With health care issues on the rise, the need for recovery will grow more rapidly. Hospital stay is drastically reducing which is opening the door for more home health agencies. More diseases and drug therapy could be administered via continuum home health care. There are a limited amount of dialysis patients taught along with family members to administer treatment in the comfort of their homes.

Dialysis is a very uncomfortable and unpleasant treatment to experience and any new or improved idea to make the patients more comfortable would be welcomed. Chemotherapy for cancer patients is another treatment to be researched for a better procedure to ensure more comfort. Medicine is changing rapidly everyday and procedures are becoming less complicated and less time consuming. The Continuum of Home Health will have the opportunity to broaden their areas of health care to include a larger range of ill patients.

Most of all, with proper training, it could help the economy by making more jobs available in the industry. It takes a special person to work in the home health care industry. You have to love people, helping people and most of all care about what you do. Every case and how you treat it is a reflection on you. First impressions are lasting and remember the “Golden Rule” of life. The patients are sick and want to be treated with respect and care. You never know when or if you or a family member will ever need care.

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