Friday, September 26, 2014

Medicare reimbursement policies discourage discharging elderly from hospitals into home care


The health care system, with Medicare reimbursement policies, sometimes discourages the elderly from being discharged back home in cases where there are relatives to care for them.  Home day care is said to cost only about 20% of that, according to the New York Times front page article Friday September 26, 2014 by Nina Bernstein, link here.   However 24 hour care would cost much closer to the Medicare amount (unless a live-in is used, which is usually less expensive but perhaps exploitive).
  
It is common for people to be discharged from hospitals into skilled nursing facilities, where Medicare can reimburse for 20 days.  Supplementary insurance may help pay for up to 100 days in some cases.  My own mother stayed in an SNF after coronary bypass surgery in 1999 (with a bad experience), and then after a mini-stroke in 2009 (a much better experience).  

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