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A recently published study in The American Journal of Accountable Care finds that home health care may result in lower costs and a lower hospital readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries after emergency room visits. The study, “Improved Cost and Utilization Among Medicare Beneficiaries Dispositioned From the ED to Receive Home Health Care Compared With Inpatient Hospitalization,” notes that total 90-day costs were lower for beneficiaries receiving home health care after an emergency room visit when compared to beneficiaries treated at the hospital ($13,012 and $20,325, respectively). Furthermore, the study finds that beneficiaries receiving home health care had lower readmission rates (23.7%) compared to beneficiaries receiving hospital care (33%).

As part of our Medicare Platform, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center) has long been working to ensure beneficiaries with longer-term, chronic, and/or debilitating conditions have full access to skilled nursing, therapy and related care needed to maintain their conditions or slow decline. The Center’s advocacy efforts include pushing back against bias toward institutional admissions for home care patients, which makes it harder for beneficiaries who avoid hospitalizations to obtain and retain home health care.

March 28, 2019 – D. Valanejad

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