Home health care will shine in light of Gabrielle Giffords
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 17, 2011) On behalf of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, we congratulate Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford as she returns home to continue to receive important treatment and therapy through home health care.
Most often, the critically important work of home care and hospice workers is frequently unnoticed by society at large. That will change as Giffords care shines a light on the incredible professionals that day in and day out provide care to homebound, elderly and infirm Americans in the comfort of their own homes.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) believes that ensuring the right to be cared for in our homes is Americas last great civil rights battle. Home care and hospice professionals connect with patients in a more personal, more human way. Beyond simply tending to health care needs, they provide a social interaction, meeting with individuals who in many cases would otherwise be alone and left in the shadows.
The care that is given through home health and hospice is second to none, especially with the advances in tele-health technology, said Val J. Halamandaris, president of NAHC. Plus, all of this occurs in the comfort of the patients own home, at a much reduced cost to Medicare and insurance companies. I know Congresswoman Giffords is in good hands.
As more Americans take advantage of new policies in the recent health care legislation that allow them more access to home care and hospice, the demand for qualified home health aides, registered nurses and other care providers will grow. Job growth in the industry is expected to increase an astounding 48 percent by 2018. In 2009, the average home care visit cost $135.00 per day versus the average hospital visit which cost $1500 a day. Preventive home health care saves Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars per year.
Today, millions of Americas seniors and disabled citizens depend on home care services to remain healthy, stable, and out of costly traditional settings. For decades, caring for the elderly, disabled and chronically ill at home has provided a dignified and high-efficient method of treatment. Home-based care is also clinically effective, utilizing advanced technologies and helping to cost-effectively manage chronic diseases that account for 75 percent of our nations health care spending.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 10 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org and www.caring.org.