N484

Module 6: Trends, Issues, and Opportunities in Home Health Care

(All papers must have INTRODUCTION & CONCLUSION. Use the uploaded Grading Rubric to write the paper)

This first discussion assignment is intended to help each student set a context for the course, establish expectations and goals for the course, and provide insights to the instructor enabling tailoring of the course to better fit the needs of the students. Replies to discussion questions must be well considered and scholarly. A quality initial response to the Discussion Question should be roughly 400 words. (Selected Journal article MUST not be more that 5 years old)

Overview

In this module, we will examine the present state of the home health care industry and examine future trends and opportunities.

Just as other segments of the health care industry have been impacted by health care reform, the home health industry is no different – provider organizations have been challenged by the changing reimbursement landscape and more often than not, are having to “do more with less”. As a result, it is imperative to examine productivity and efficiency while simultaneously looking to enhance patient outcomes. The prudent home health care administrator is constantly surveying the horizon and must be vigilant to ensure that his/her agency remains viable in the face of industry challenges. However, one cannot focus only on the challenges; he/she must look to the future and position the agency to be a leader in the provision of quality services that patients and their families expect.

Future trends and opportunities for the home health care industry include, but are not limited to:

•           Partnerships with other providers in the provision of quality care that enhances patient outcomes.

•           Pay for quality performance initiatives.

•           Demographics of an aging population.

•           Use of technology in the provision of home health care services.

•           Research opportunities in home health care.

Home health nurses cannot be passive participants in their practice environment, but instead should seize the opportunity to lead the organization to new levels.

Ethical dilemmas present themselves in the home care setting just as they do in any other health care setting. The home health care nurse must be comfortable with navigating these situations so that patient’s desires can be respected and care can be provided within professional boundaries.

Goals Alignment 

University Mission Based Outcomes – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Program Learning Goals – 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

Course Learning Objectives – 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Professional Standards

N/A

  Learning Materials

•           Clark, M. (2015). Population and Community Health Nursing (6th ed.). Pearson. ISBN: 9780133846584. Read Chapter 13.

Additional Resources

•           Case Management Society of America. (2016). Standards of practice for case management. https://www.abqaurp.org/DOCS/2016%20CM%20standards%20of%20practice.pdf

•           Clinicient. (2017, January 20). Pay for performance initiatives: What this means for the future of healthcare [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0odGzJch0U&feature=youtu.be

•           Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020, November 18). Home health star ratings. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/HomeHealthQualityInits/HHQIHomeHealthStarRatings

•           Shield HealthCare. (2015, June 23). Shield HealthCare understanding the new quality of patient care star rating (HHC star rating) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p5MdYk010I

Discussion Question:

Discussion Question 1: Choose one of the following prompts:

Home health nurses, their organization, and the home health care industry have faced many challenges in the last several years. Research trends, issues, and opportunities related to the home health care industry; identify one area for discussion and present a summary of your findings.

OR

Discuss how pay-for-quality performance initiatives are influencing home health care delivery.

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Home Health Care

Unlike clinical or nursing homes, which involves supportive care provided to groups, home health care delivery entails providing primary care to individuals at their place of residence. The most beneficial aspect of home health care over other forms of health, according to Hewitt, Nowak, & Nataraj (2016), is the flexibility options offered for caring. Additionally, it is suggested that home care promotes escalated healing since patients recover faster at their homes’ comfort. This essay provides research on trends, issues, and opportunities regarding the home health care industry.

Trends related to the home health care industry include home care scaling toward franchising. More growth is expected from many already in the home care industry and from new owners entering the market. Conferring to Gandarillas & Goswami (2018), demand for companionship services is expected to rise, especially for aging care. Additionally, a slew of factors is contributing to new labor battles. The public health emergency has continually changed the perceived risk of home care jobs, requiring new policies and provisions to improve efficiency (Zhong, Lee & Li, 2017). Environmental hazards like infection control, inefficient education, and training for patients and caregivers are among the top issues facing the home health care industry. Subsequently, Fikar & Hirsch (2017) mention that caregiver challenges like communication, scheduling, handoffs, and routing, alongside difficulty in balancing patient autonomy and risk to meet different patients’ needs, are significant issues affecting the industry.

Be that as it may, more opportunities are arising, which can be adopted to minimize issues and maximize trends to improve the industry’s efficiency (Hewitt, Nowak & Nataraj, 2016). For instance, home health care offers personalized services designed to meet the client’s health needs and financial capabilities. Home health care provides an opportunity to reinforce and supplement care from the client’s family and friends by supporting follow-up treatment. Hiring for personality is a lingering opportunity in the home health care industry since caregivers require a specific skill set and personality (Gandarillas & Goswami, 2018). Further, it offers an opportunity to map the client journey and measure client satisfaction. Ultimately, this offers more opportunities for improvement.

References

Fikar, C., & Hirsch, P. (2017). Home health care routing and scheduling: A review. Computers & Operations Research77, 86-95.

Gandarillas, M. Á., & Goswami, N. (2018). Merging current health care trends: innovative perspective in aging care. Clinical interventions in aging13, 2083.

Hewitt, M., Nowak, M., & Nataraj, N. (2016). Planning strategies for home health care delivery. Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research33(05), 1650041.

Zhong, X., Lee, H. K., & Li, J. (2017). From production systems to health care delivery systems: a retrospective look on similarities, difficulties and opportunities. International Journal of Production Research55(14), 4212-4227.