Education Center

Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

Scientists Use Virtual Reality to Explore Home Health Environments

heidi Hospital Discharge, Resources for Physicians Comments Off on Scientists Use Virtual Reality to Explore Home Health Environments
How a house is set up and where objects are located may correlate to how well a person manages a health condition.

How a house is set up and where objects are located may correlate to how well a person manages a health condition.

Study to shed light on factors that influence a person’s ability to self-manage a health condition at home.

It’s easy for health care professionals to monitor a patient’s medical regimen when they are in the hospital. But after discharge, the responsibility to manage that care falls on the patient and family caregiver. Often the regimen falls by the wayside, mistakes happen, and the patient’s health becomes compromised.

To better understand how elements in the home environment (such as clutter) may impact a patient’s ability to adhere to their care regimen (forgetting to take medicines), researchers are exploring the home health environment through virtual reality technology. The goal: To gain insight into what factors influence a person’s ability to manage a health condition at home.

Researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), and the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Nursing and College of Engineering, will use a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality to capture 360-degree, detailed images of homes of people living with diabetes and translate them into 3-D. Read more


Home Care Costs Rising More Slowly than Other Health Care Options

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Although long-term care across all service types has increased over the last year, home care has increased the least. Also, home care still remains the most cost-effective avenue of care when compared with nursing home care and assisted living.

 

Studies confirm home care more cost-effective than nursing home care and assisted living.

Studies confirm home care more cost-effective than nursing home care and assisted living.

The cost of care in a private room in a U.S. nursing home averages roughly $94,170 per year, with the costs of assisted living averaging $41,124 annually, according to a report by John Hancock Life Insurance Company.

Home care, in comparison, averages $29,640 annually, the study finds based on responses from 16,000 long term care providers nationwide. Long term care across all service types having increased over the past year, with home care having increased least.

Based on a five-year average, the company finds the cost of nursing home care has risen most, at 3.6 percent per year for both private and semi-private room options. Assisted living, in contrast, has risen 2 percent annually while the cost of a home health aide has risen 1.3 percent. Costs vary by geography, the company notes, showing geographic discrepancies through its national long term care calculator.

“The cost of long-term care continues to be one of the most significant uninsured financial risks that an individual can face,” said Michael Doughty, Executive Vice President & General Manager, John Hancock Insurance. “[We] hope that our cost of care studies will raise consumer awareness and will help them understand how important planning ahead for a potential long-term care event can be to their future.”

The findings compare with similar results of an annual Genworth Financial Survey indicating care costs have risen 5 percent year over year in 2013 for assisted living, 3.6 percent more for nursing home care, and 1.4 percent for home care.

Source: Elizabeth Ecker of Home Health Care News


Online Health Care Insurance Exchanges Debut Oct. 1

heidi Education Center, Industry Updates, Questions Comments Off on Online Health Care Insurance Exchanges Debut Oct. 1

Question: I’m 68 years old. Should I be shopping for health insurance on the online exchanges?
Answer: No. Seniors 65 and older, and disabled individuals, already meet their insurance requirements through Medicare. In fact, selling marketplace coverage to people who have Medicare is illegal.

Beginning October 1, 2013, uninsured Americans can sign up for health care insurance online through an exchange. The exchanges will allow individuals and consumers to comparison shop for health insurance, if they are eligible.

 

Online Health Care Insurance Exchanges

The new exchanges are online marketplaces where individuals and small employers will be able to shop for insurance coverage.

Seniors and disabled individuals enrolled in Medicare Part A — which covers hospitalization and limited nursing home care and is free for most beneficiaries – do not need to buy a marketplace plan, because they are already meeting the insurance requirements. Indeed, selling marketplace coverage to people who have Medicare is illegal.

The Marketplace does not offer Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance or Part D drug plans. For information on these programs, visit Medicare.gov. Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in the program’s traditional drug coverage on Medicare.gov during the Medicare open season, which begins Oct. 15.

Here are some answers to common questions about the exchanges:

What is an exchange?

It’s an online marketplace where individuals and small employers will be able to shop for insurance coverage. Enrollment begins Oct. 1 for policies that will go into effect on Jan. 1. The exchanges will also help people find out if they are eligible for federal subsidies to help cover the cost of coverage or if they are eligible for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor. Read more