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The Changing Healthcare Ecosystem: How Home Therapy is a Solution

Healthcare is experiencing one of its greatest transformations. As treatment is becoming more personalized and accessible to patients, in-home Medicare Part B physical and occupational therapy is in greater demand than ever before.

 

The Challenge

Hospitals have been adjusting their care delivery models to a hospital-at-home structure, and as a result, many Medicare part A providers are moving patients out of the hospital setting at a faster rate. In an analysis of the alternative care settings that are on the rise, the American Hospital Association found that home-based care is predicted to jump by 15% from 2019 to 2029. Meanwhile, inpatient and skilled nursing facility care are expected to experience a decrease in volume. In geriatic therapy, this is largely due to the need for treatment that addresses real-life barriers in the home.

As hospitals look to transition patients back to their homes earlier and earlier, part B providers will be required to treat higher acuity patients. Part B providers will have to ensure that they are trained to analyze, treat, and monitor these patients while maintaining a high level of care.

 

The Solution: Specialized Therapy Providers

In order to ensure continued success of treatment, Medicare Part A providers will begin to carry out the remainder of care through specialized in-home skilled therapy providers. With the one-on-one approach to care, professionals are identifying and targeting treatment while accommodating to the specific environmental and functional needs of each patient:

 

  • Evaluating the patient in their home environment, a trained therapist can adapt a treatment approach to strengthen patients for what they will face in their everyday routines.
  • The in-home presence also allows the provider to better assess the patient’s needs and make appropriate recommendations for supportive equipment, preventative/safety measures to be taken, and so forth. Therapists in a clinic are less able to specify the best choice of equipment, its positioning for installment, and other key elements that directly impact the in-home mobility and safety of a patient.
  • Therapists understand the complexity and sensitive nature of chronic diseases which is prevalent in acute care patients. Home Health Care News shared that nearly 50% of the in-home patients suffer from 5 or more chronic conditions.

 

Patients with greater ease of travel and who find outpatient care advantageous may even want to supplement their clinic treatment with in-home visits to better target their specific needs at home.

 

Trend

In-home care is expected to grow in the long term both due to patient approval and trust from part A providers.

The operational change from Part A providers has generated a trend of growth for in-home care providers as shared by trusted industry researchers, IBISWorld, who found an annual growth pattern of 4.8% since 2017. And it has already increased, just in 2022, to a rate of 5.4%. Today there are almost half a million providers in the US alone. Supporting this momentum toward home treatment, a study from the The American Journal of Accountable Care also shared that home health was statistically more effective than inpatient care, resulting in fewer hospital admissions and readmissions.

Now is the time for specialized in-home providers to capitalize. With proper staffing and training, home therapy groups will be the go-to Part B providers as the healthcare ecosystem evolves into a more personalized, cost effective experience for all.

Ed Gasiewski, PT and Michael Gasiewski, OT are the owners of Therapy Choice, a Medicare Part B provider that specializes in in-home physical, occupational therapy and home safety assessments.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.aha.org/system/files/media/file/2021/11/2022-Environmental-Scan.pdf
  2. https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/home-care-providers-united-states/T
  3. https://www.ajmc.com/view/improved-cost-and-utilization-among-medicare-beneficiaries-dispositioned-from-the-ed-to-receive-home-health-care-compared-with-inpatient-hospitalization