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The Safer, More Affordable Alternative to Long Hospital Stays

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home-based health careIf you or a loved one has recently recovered from a major illness or medical procedure, you should be sure to fully explore your options for long-term care and recovery. Today, home-based healthcare – in which a qualified nursing professional visits a patient at home to provide recovery care – is on the rise. The great news is that home healthcare is not only covered by Medicare and Medicaid programs, but can also be safer and more affordable than staying in the hospital over an extended period. In fact, government spending on home healthcare increased by 4.8 percent in 2014 alone.

Why is home-based healthcare becoming so popular? In 2014, healthcare spending by the U.S. government grew by 5.3 percent to $9,523 per person. The government spends over 3 trillion dollars a year on healthcare services, and as the costs of those services continue to rise, both government agencies and consumers are looking for more affordable alternatives to long hospital stays.

According to a 2013 report from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the typical bill to Medicare for a hospital stay is $2,000 per day versus just $44 a day for home care. That’s an enormous savings. In many cases, a home stay can also be safer than recovering in a hospital, as there is less risk of developing a hospital-acquired infection such as thrush, influenza, or antibiotic-resistant staph infections.

Why is home-based healthcare so much more affordable? Care conducted in the home is tailored to the unique needs of the patient. It also doesn’t require covering overhead costs for the facility and staff. Those receiving home healthcare don’t typically require 24/7 care. Nursing staff may visit a recovering patient in their home for just a few hours a day to assist with tasks such as physical and occupational therapy, wound care, or IV therapy.

Expansion of home-based healthcare is expected to save both consumers and government agencies costs today and into the next decade.

Are you interested in exploring your alternatives for home-based healthcare? Discover more about your options by visiting Graceworks at Home.

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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