Improved Hospice Outreach to Minorities Could Save Medicare $270 Million

Medicare spends 20 percent more, on average, on an African-American patient in the last year of his or her life than for white patients, but increased access to hospice services for minorities could save Medicare up to $270 million per year and lead to improved end-of-life care and experiences for elder minorities and their families.…

National Institutes of Health Offers Funding Opportunities in Palliative Care

The National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health has announced two funding opportunities, both called “Palliative Care in Home and Community Settings,” intended to stimulate research to determine needs and best practices for the integration of palliative care into home and community settings. For both opportunities, open dates for submission start…

More Older Adults With Joint Replacements Recover At Home, Not Rehab

Judith Graham KAISER HEALTH NETWORK Older adults and their families often wonder: Where’s the best place to recover after a hip or knee replacement — at home or in a rehabilitation facility? Increasingly, the answer appears to be home if the procedure is elective, friends and family are available to help and someone doesn’t have…

Study Finds Home Health Physical Therapy Lowers Re-Hospitalization Substantially

Home Health physical therapy visits can substantially lower the risk of re-hospitalization in older adults during a 60-day period, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA). Re-hospitalizations are estimated to cost more than $41 billion per year, with older patients disproportionately at risk to encounter serious…

Home Health Saves Medicare Money Despite Slightly Higher Readmissions than SNFs

The cost advantages of home health care make it less expensive than skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) despite a slightly higher hospital readmission rate, according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers and published last week in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study found that Medicare patients discharged to home health had a 5.6 percent…

Study: US Spends Far More on Health Care and Gets Less

The United States spends far more on health care on a per capita basis than other wealthy countries, and the reason is higher prices, not greater utilization, according to a new study that appears in the January 2019 edition of Health Affairs. Researchers led by an expert from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public…

Using Machines to Detect Medicare Fraud

In a development that could have significant impact across the health care spectrum, researchers at Florida Atlantic University are using a form of advanced pattern matching to teach “machines” to detect Medicare fraud, according to a new study in Health Information Science and Systems. Currently, human beings investigate and audit Medicare claims to find certain…

Study: Per Capita End of Life Care Spending is Falling Rapidly

It has long been considered almost an article of faith that end-of-life spending is one of the major factors causing a rapid increase in overall health care spending in the United States. However, a new study challenges that belief, finding that per capita end-of-life care spending has been declining rapidly and that this decline has…

Food as Home Health Care — California Funds Delivery of Healthy Food

The state of California is funding a three-year, $6 million project to test whether home delivery of healthy food will impact hospital readmission and long-term care referrals, according to the New York Times. Researchers from Stanford University, the University of California, and San Francisco will study whether nutritious food deliveries to 1000 patients with Type-2…

Longer Home Health Visits Linked to Lower Readmission Rates

Longer home health care visits may lead to lower hospital readmission rates, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). How much longer do those home health visits need to be to reduce readmission rates? As little as one minute. The NBER study of an anonymous multi-state, for-profit and private…