Health Care at Home: Trends and issues

Leaders in the nation's Health Care at Home movement outlined trends and issues during a webinar for physicians across the country today. The webinar, "Why Health Care is Going Home," offered industry insights and detailed the reasons why home care will play a major role in the future of health care in America.

Amedisys Chief Medical Officer Michael Fleming, MD, FAAFP, was a featured speaker during the webinar, stressing the critical need for physicians to lead the Health Care at Home movement. Amedisys Home Health and Hospice (Nasdaq: AMED) provides care to more than 35,000 patients nationwide every day.

Joining Dr. Fleming were Steven Landers, MD, MPH, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Home Care and Community Rehabilitation, and Bruce Leff, MD, a Professor with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Both physicians are members of the Amedisys Strategic Advisory Board.

Fleming shed light on the growing importance of chronic care management at home and how home care is often preferred by patients over institutional care. He outlined the affordability of home care, as well. According to 2009 figures from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, average Medicare charges for a hospital stay cost $6,200 per day versus a home health care visit which runs $135 per visit.

"We know that home care provides high-quality care with excellent outcomes for patients, and its role will only continue to grow as more Americans age and cope with chronic conditions," said Fleming. "As changes in health care policies sweep through America, we're joining together to ask physicians and other health care professionals to help encourage the use of Health Care at Home."

Dr. Leff detailed the history behind the Hospital at Home concept and the physician's role in the model that provides acute hospital care in a patient's home and is a safe, viable, and cost-effective alternative for some patients.

The idea for the webinar originated from Dr. Landers' October 2010 commentary in The New England Journal of Medicine, where he outlined his perspective on the future of home care as an increasingly crucial component of America's health care system. During today's webinar, Landers issued a call for policymakers to adapt health care policies to bring patient care into the home.

A recording and transcript of the webinar will be available at The webinar was planned and implemented in accordance with the policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of Antidote Education Company and Amedisys. Antidote Education Company designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Application for CME credit has also been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians and is pending. Credits are available for six months after the original webinar broadcast date.


Amedisys, Inc.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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