Home Care: The Main Thing
I have a collection of buttons gathered over the years at various state and national meetings of home care associations at which I was a presenter. Three of them say:
- “There’s no place like home.”
- “Home care is where the heart is.”
- “Home care professionals keep families together.”
All of the above was true when the buttons were received and remains true today!
IN ADDITION, THESE BUTTONS SAY THE MAIN THING ABOUT HOME CARE!
Home care providers of all types, including home health agencies, hospices, private duty agencies and home medical equipment (HME) companies must keep their eyes on the ball, and “the ball” is these three things!
YES! Home care providers must provide excellent care to patients!
YES! Home care providers must provide cost-effective care!
YES! Home care providers must keep patients out of emergency rooms!
YES! Home care providers must keep patients out of hospitals!
But the main thing is HOME!
Home care providers are bombarded these days with regulatory changes; audits; denials; appeals; reimbursement and payment changes; surveys; requirements for complete, accurate documentation; non-compliant/adherent patients; families who are difficult to work with; patients with high acuities; unreliable primary caregivers; and difficult requests from referral sources.
And let’s not forget animals! Attack geese! A home care field staff member who came face to face with a pet alligator in a mobile home in Louisiana named Bubba! A different kind of face-to-face encounter, for sure!
And on and on the list goes.
It seems that there are many who do not understand the home care industry and may even think that it’s easy to provide home care. Even a cursory look makes it clear that this is emphatically not the case. It is tough and it’s easy to lose sight of the Main Thing.
Regardless of where patients call home, including continuing care retirement communities (CRCs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs), that’s where patients want to be. The MAIN THING for home care providers is to help patients stay home. In the midst of competing demands, let’s not lose sight of the MAIN THING!