Helping patients return home after being discharged from the hospital seems like it should be easy, but it’s often not. The use of home care as safe and reliable benefit option is often misunderstood, if knowledge exists at all, by the patient, caregiver, and even the physician community. Coordinating the services needed in the home can become a challenge. Finding the right in-home care team, and then ensuring it can be paid for under the patient’s benefit, can be daunting.
Overcoming these challenges requires a multi-faceted management approach. First, benefit designs must promote the use of home care as an alternative to costly acute care settings, when appropriate. Second, reimbursement must support care at home. Third, care coordination applications and tools to find the ‘right match’ of both services and in-home providers need to be widespread and transparent to patients, families, and physicians.