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Home Health Saves Medicare Money Despite Slightly Higher Readmissions Than SNFs

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:10 PM

According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, home health care is less expensive than skilled nursing facilities, even though HH has a slightly greater readmission rate. 

Medicare patients who are released to home health have a 5.6% higher readmission rate than those patients released to a SNF, however, home health saved Medicare on average $4,514 per patient over 60-days as HH is cheaper. 

“Readmissions certainly are costs but the lower rates of readmissions (at SNFs) didn’t make up for the higher cost of sending patients to SNFs,” said Dr. Rachel Werner, lead author of the study and director of health policy and outcomes research at University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Medicine.

“NAHC Report reached out to Dr. Werner, asking her if, considering the considerable cost savings with home health and only marginally higher readmission rates, it would make sense to increase reimbursement for home health services, with a corresponding increase in the intensity of care. Dr. Werner agreed that it would enable agencies to prevent readmissions by offering greater, more complete services, while allowing people to remain in their homes and receive more intensive care to prevent readmission.”

Source: NAHC Report

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