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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Medicaid and Home-Based Care

Dr. Joseph James has an op-ed in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch suggesting that increased use of home-based healthcare for senior citizens could reduce Medicaid costs. He argues that it is "both more humane and shrewd." Patients do better at home and costs are lower.

Current reimbursement rates for home-based care are apparently too low to adequately compensate nurse's aides, the primary practicioners of this type of home-based care, according to Dr. James. Increasing the rates might actually reduce expenses as fewer patients are consigned to more expensive institutional care.

I'm far from an expert on Medicaid, but the concept makes sense. I know, from my vantage point, that lots of individuals are interested in starting a home-health care business. Unfortunately, few have any business background. If the state ever tried to increse home care options, I'd like to see business assistance agencies involved in providing training and mentoring to fledgling home care providers. Too often the failures of home healthcare providers are business failures, not care failures.

1 Comments:

  • Will, nationally the home care industry is getting more organized on that front. Particularly as Boomers prepare to retire en masse, the opportunities exist. A major issue becomes the quality of training (and certification) that providers have, in addition to their business skills. For an interesting link on this issue, check out:

    http://www.directcareclearinghouse.org/index.jsp

    By Blogger SouthoftheJames.com, at 1/27/2006 1:58 PM  

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