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Top 3 Reasons Home Care Agencies Need to Reduce Unplanned Hospitalizations

Posted by fivebyfive on June 05, 2012

The Woof Street Journal

The following is a guest post from Dan Hogan, president and CEO of Medalogix. Medalogix deploys a medication-centric predictive modeling toolset to help home care agencies and skilled nursing facilities reduce their rate of unplanned hospitalizations.

According to a study by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, about 3.2 million Medicare patients were cared for by home health agencies in 2008. Twenty-nine percent, or 928,000 of those were readmitted to the hospital.

That’s upwards of $500 million in unnecessary medical expense, or 500 million reasons home care agencies need to reduce unplanned hospitalization.

Here are three more:

Patient Well-Being

Medical outcomes are demonstrably better when patients are cared for in their homes. This is particularly true for older patients suffering from chronic illnesses and taking multiple medications. Studies show that patients are more likely to engage socially with family and friends in the comfort of their homes, which eliminates stress and speeds up the recovery process.

The Affordable Care Act

Starting in October, provisions within the Affordable Care Act will penalize hospitals when a patient is readmitted under the same diagnosis within 30 days of his or her discharge. Without Medicare reimbursement for the care provided these readmitted patients, hospitals stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars. If a home health care agency can prove that they maintain a lower than average rate of re-hospitalization then that agency is likely to get more hospital referrals.

It’s Our Job (And One That We Take Great Pride In)

Keeping people out of the hospital — it’s the work that we do everyday, and the driving factor that measures a home health care agency’s credibility. By focusing on lowering readmission rates, home care providers not only save money, time and stress, but they add to their accountability.

We started Medalogix in 2009 to fight re-hospitalization on a larger scale. Medalogix uses predictive modeling software to analyze a home health care agency’s own clinical data, isolating and flagging known medication risks.

Oftentimes several different physicians with no coordination between them prescribe medications to geriatric patients. This increases the risk of negative drug interactions, which accounts for up to a third of all geriatric patient re-hospitalizations. Medalogix’s medication-centric predictive model prepares home care agencies to mitigate this risk by helping them identify which patients are most likely to end up back in the hospital.

More about the Author: Dan founded Medalogix in 2009 with Gerry Andrady, the company’s chief technology officer, to address the medication complications he saw occurring among geriatric patients at Doctor’s Associates Home Health, the Manchester, Tenn. home health agency he owned and operated from 2005 to 2010. Now part of SunCrest Healthcare, Inc., Doctor’s Associates Home Health employs 108 full- and part-time staff to provide skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech therapy and medical social services to approximately 380 homebound, geriatric patients in rural communities east of Nashville. You can find us on Twitter @Medalogix.


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