When you or one of your loved ones have Medicare, the sky’s the limit to which health services are accessible. Many people are unaware of the various services that they are eligible for through Medicare, such as home health, visiting home physicians, palliative/hospice care etc.

In 2016 almost 2.5 million Medicare patients were in the hospital and were immediately referred to home health services to have routine care. Amongst those 2.5 million discharged patients, approximately 54% utilized home health’s services. On the other hand, approximately 8.3% of those who did not utilize home health services in the span of two weeks fell through the cracks. Those patients either passed away or were placed in a skilled nursing facility. Oftentimes, the elderly envision that after their hospitalization they can continue their typical activities of daily living. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. In a study by Mike Gregory, chief patient advocacy officer at Intrepid USA Healthcare stated that two weeks after discharge there will be an active decline for what forced an individual to be hospitalized or with a new health related issue.

There could be numerous factors that contribute to whether a patient is referred to home health care services when they are discharged from the hospital. Maybe the social worker, discharge planner, or case manager were simply lacking the education on the criteria that a patient needs to meet to qualify for home health care services. Other instances might be the discharge planner is not putting forth enough points of contacts to ensure the proper set up of home health care services for the patient prior to being released from the hospital. Therefore, it is crucial to be educated on health services available in order to advocate for yourself or your loved one in times of need.

At the end of the day everyone wants to stay in their home with their loved ones. In a pivotal time like now, with a pandemic growing more so than dwindling, it is important to take advantage of home health services. You are the ultimate factor.


By: Simon Lee (Community Liaison at Meridian Healthcare)
Email: simon.lee@meridianphcstest.com
LinkedIn: simon-lee-jlee17