5 fast facts on the home health workforce

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Patients who use home health programs are readmitted to hospitals slightly less than those patients transferred to skilled nursing facilities, according to the 2021 AHHQI Home Health Chartbook released Nov. 18. 

The report is an annual resource from Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice that provides a broad overview of home health workforce, patients, 30-day rehospitalization rates, organizational trends, and the economic contribution of home health agencies.

The agencies are set to present the findings at an upcoming webinar, though the date has not been set.

Five key facts in the report: 

  • Fifty-seven percent of hospitalized patients are initially sent home, to a retirement community or assisted living community home while 34 percent are sent to formal post-acute care settings, including skilled nursing facilities. 

  • Around 82.3 percent of Medicare home health users have three or more chronic conditions compared to 59.5 percent of all beneficiaries.

  • The top three reasons for hospital readmissions among home health users were: miscellaneous disorders of nutrition or metabolism, acute myocardial infarctions and other kidney and urinary tract diagnoses.

  • Average rate of hospital readmissions for home health users was 17.3 percent while skilled nursing facilities residents had a 17.97 percent average. 

  • The number of Medicare-certified free-standing home health agencies continues to steadily decrease.

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