Home Health

Three Reasons Why Home Health Will Define Healthcare’s Future

By Karen Utterback
Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson

Home Health Will Define Future of Healthcare

If I had a crystal ball and could accurately envision what the future of healthcare will look like, I could retire a rich woman. Unfortunately, I don’t.

But I do know that home health will be central to the success of whatever may be the next trend, care model or healthcare innovation.

Here are three reasons why home health is uniquely positioned:

  • We understand our patients in a holistic way that most other care providers don’t.
  • We know about and have access to community resources.
  • We have feet on the street with a mobile workforce that can reach these patients, day in and day out, wherever they are.

That may be one reason why home health spending increased 8.4 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, according to Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization. Admittedly, the amount spent on home care is relatively small compared to what’s spent on the big three (hospitals, physicians and prescriptions take 60 cents of each healthcare dollar). But the month-to-month percentage increase for home health was considerably higher than those other categories.

That’s not to say that we don’t face our own challenges. The biggest obstacle I see for our industry is a lack of data to show our value to care partners. If your home health agency is not partnering with other care providers, tracking key metrics and carefully observing outcomes, then you have some catching up to do. A reliable clinical management system is the best way to collect and interpret valuable home healthcare data intelligence.

This is not the time to stand by and hope the changes impacting the healthcare industry will go away. They won’t. It is the time to try new things, expand on what works and change what doesn’t. You will be judged not only on your outcomes, but on your ability to show the value that your home health agency provides.