Takeaways from the “I Can Take Care of Myself!” report
Patients who decline home health services after a hospital discharge are far more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than patients who use home health services, a recent study finds.
The United Hospital Fund report, “I Can Take Care of Myself! Patients’ Refusal of Home Health Care Services,” found that 28 percent of 495 eligible patients surveyed refused home health services, and those who did refuse were twice as likely to be re-admitted to the hospital within 30 or 60 days of discharge.
Patients said they refused home health services because of:
- Financial concerns
- A belief that their family could provide necessary care
- Fear of losing privacy and control over their lives
Family caregivers, who sometimes make decisions on behalf of the patient, may also be unaware of the benefits of home health services and support the patient’s choice.
Patients who accepted home health services generally reported better quality of life in the weeks and months following discharge from the hospital.
“If patients need to continue their care at home, using the skills of a home care team is the best way to reach their goals,” says Dr. Kevin McCune, medical director of Advocate at Home and vice president of medical management/chief medical officer for Advocate Medical Group.
“The home care nurse works closely with the patient’s physician to create the plan of care. If the patient has questions about the benefits of home care, they should ask their doctor about the pros and cons of having someone monitor their care and teach them to manage their condition so they don’t get readmitted to the hospital.”
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