Great article from today’s New York Times about how much better it is—cost-wise and outcome-wise—to keep and treat patients at home, especially seniors:
“Patients who are treated at home by a doctor and nursing staff who know them intimately and can be available 24/7 are happier and healthier. This kind of care decreases the infections, mistakes and delirium, which, especially among the elderly, are the attendants of hospital care. And it is far more efficient. According to a 2002 study, for the patients treated by the Veterans Affairs’ Home Based Primary Care program, the number of days spent in hospitals and nursing homes was cut by 62 percent and 88 percent, respectively, and total health care costs dropped 24 percent.”
This echoes what the aging-in-place Villages have already learned and seniors intuitively know. If you want cost-effective, positive psychological and physical health outcomes, keeping seniors at home and finding ways to deliver services to them there for as long as possible is definitely the way to go.