With every passing day, as much as 10,000 older adults turn 65 in the US and a slew of them have the privilege of aging in their own house. This surplus of older people has created a big market for the home health care sector. By the year 2026, home health care is expected to take a quantum leap forward in its growth. Research conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that jobs in this sector will surge by 54%, creating almost 738,200 jobs, while employment growth in other industries increases by 7%.
So, in addition to the aging of older adults, what other factors are contributing to this enormous growth of the industry? While it is easy to associate the growth to one aspect, there are numerous reasons why there is a sudden surge in home health care. The top reasons for this are given below:
A large number of older adults in America have health insurance, which means that their insurance will pay for their value-based care at home. In the recent years insurance companies have favored value-based care while controlling the prices of those services as well, which is why patients now opt for the most apt services they can find. The population acquiring Medicare is expected to exponentially grow in the years to come, therefore it can be concluded that the total dollar price of home health advantages will increase as well. Currently, Medicare doesn’t provide as much of a coverage to people acquiring home health care as the traditional healthcare. However, that percentage is expected to grow. The main reason are the regulatory changes and incredible alliances between home healthcare organizations and Medicare Advantage healthcare services providers.
Aging in Americans
Aging stands to be the number one contributing factor in the rise of home health care services. Statistics in accordance with the US Census Bureau show that it is expected that the number of individuals turning 65 will increase from 43 million to 84 million in 2050, making up 21% of the total population which is a significant number. Older people are more reliant towards value-based care and they’d prefer it if they can get treated at the comfort of their home rather than at the hospital. The trend is already going towards home health care. Add the factor of regulatory changes in Medicare and we are expected to see a boom in the demand for these services.
As the demand for the home health care services surges, the need for old-age related treatments also skyrocket. The reason is that 2 out of 3 older adults suffer from a chronic condition that needs to be treated differently than an acute condition is treated. Chronic conditions are treated way better at home than they are treated at a medical facility. Since, older people are reluctant to travel, it is way convenient for them to receive health care at home. Additionally, studies have shown that not only older people lean towards receiving home healthcare services, when they do, they are increasingly happy and their ratings depict satisfaction on their part. Due to this, hospitals are able to retain these old aged customers and better expand their practice.
Liberating for patients
There is nothing more liberating than having the option of getting cured at the comfort of your own home. Not only home health makes care available for patients at home, they are also able to enjoy personalized care on one-to-one basis with the attention of medical staff completely on one person. This undivided attention meets the needs of patients specifically, which is why they rely on home healthcare as opposed to the conventional healthcare. In addition to that, home health care empowers older adults and the need for them to move to a nursing home is significantly reduced. This way, older patients can spend their remaining years with their family members without having to rely on them completely. This option is especially viable for older adults because they usually have the tendency to be around familiar environments. Taking them or admitting them to a medical facility could potentially worsen their condition rather than improving it.
Home health care encourages the participation of loved ones and when the treatment is done at home, it enables the family to contribute to the recovery of the patient. This is another reason why people lean towards home health care services.
Challenges faced by practitioners due to the rise of home healthcare
Now that we have discussed the reasons why home healthcare is on the rise and why it will continue to grow, let’s shed some light on the potential challenges this will expose practices to so that they can proactively deal with those obstacles beforehand.
1. Meeting workforce challenges
Overcoming challenges usually begins by addressing staffing issues. As the demand for home healthcare continues to surge, the requirement for nurses also increases. This should be kept in mind that at this point, practices will be competing on the basis of quality so if they have to hire nurses, competency and credibility should not be compromised.
2. Technological solutions
In addition to the workface, technological challenges also need to be catered to. In this day and age, technology plays a vital role in determining the functionality of a medical practice. While certain operations in the home healthcare sector are difficult to manage, technology gives doctors a grasp over their tasks. Cutting edge technologies such as blockchain and AI are set to disrupt the home healthcare sector too.
In addition to that, new technologies give service providers an edge over their competitors. This is why, it is crucial to keep an eye on the new trends in healthcare and get the most suited equipment to provide home health care.
While home healthcare is on the rise, there is a change of policies, which practices need to comply by if they want to compete in the market because there are a lot of competitors and getting an edge over the others can be achieved by perfecting your own craft.