How healthcare providers are shifting to home care

May 22, 2024- McKinsey & Co. estimates that up to $265 billion worth of care services, representing up to 25% of the total cost of care, for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) and Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries could shift from traditional facilities to the home by 2025 without a reduction in quality or access. That represents a three- to four-fold increase in the cost of care being delivered at home today for this population. John Pritchard, publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting, discussed the shift to home care with healthcare supply chain industry leaders in a webinar sponsored by Hollister Incorporated.

ohn Pritchard: Patients are transitioning from acute care or an ambulatory setting to their home. What does supply chain have to be concerned about in order to take care of those patients throughout all settings?

Tim Nedley: We’re seeing 700,000 home care patients per year at UPMC. From a supply chain perspective, it’s all about preventing patient leakage from the system. We’re doing things like filling their first prescription while they’re still at the hospital. For example, when U.S. veterans leave the hospital on average there’s a seven- to 10-day lapse in them being able to get their pharmaceuticals. That’s been our experience in northern Pennsylvania. So, we’re trying to fill their first prescription at our hospitals. It’s all about following that footprint. Do we need visiting nurses to see them? Do they need their medical supplies shipped to their home?

George Godfrey: Hospital to home is a large topic. Anything that can be done to reduce patient stay and get them home takes pressure off of the hospital and gets the patient, if they’re healthy enough, into a comfortable home environment sooner. That’s expanded services from home infusion to deliveries of medical supplies. We’re at the beginning of that life cycle at Baptist Health South Florida. It started on the pharmaceutical side and is beginning to expand to general medical supplies.

Read More in the latest issue of JHC.

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