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Home-Based Medical Care Can Reduce Hospitalizations and Lower Costs — But It’s Still Underutilized

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

While home-based medical care has been shown to reduce hospitalization rates and lower costs for both homebound and non-homebound populations alike, it continues to be drastically underutilized in the current health care ecosystem.

As a result, there are millions of older Americans — especially those living in rural areas — who are going without the type of life-changing, in-home care they need.

That’s according to a new study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

“Home-based medical care is serving both clinically and socially complex homebound and non-homebound people, but the number of people who may benefit from this care is much greater than the number who receive it,” the researchers observed.

Generally, the team defined “home-based medical care” as longitudinal services like in-home primary care and palliative care. Any intermittent home-based medical care services — like home health care or physical therapy, for example — were filtered out.

Of the several thousand community-based Medicare beneficiaries surveyed, just 5% received any form of home-based medical care at any point during the study period.

Read more here.

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