In 2017, a study released by the University of Pennsylvania found that introducing a caregiver into a patient’s treatment plan at the time of discharge has significant benefits. This study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, is the first research to put quantifiable data behind the impact of utilizing caregivers for patients upon their discharge from the hospital. The study aimed to discover what kind of impact and benefits would come from using caregivers on both health care costs and resource utilization.
Upon completion of the study, the results were astoundingly positive. As far as readmission to the hospital, the rates were exponentially lower. Traditionally, 19% of Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. The study found that by systematically integrating caregivers into the discharge planning process, those hospital readmissions are reduced significantly. In fact, readmission rates were down by 25% in the first 90 days and 24% in the first 180 days following original discharge.
The study included the analysis of 4,630 patients who’s average age was 70 years old. Of the caregivers observed, two-thirds were female and 61% of them were a spouse or partner. Additionally, 35% of the studied caregivers were adult children.
While the ways in which caregivers were integrated into day-to-day activities of the patients varied, interventions did include connecting patients and caregivers with community resources, utilizing written care plans, medication reconciliation, and using learning validation methods.
The findings of this study validate the Caregiver Advise Record and Enable ACT (CARE Act), which has been adopted in over 30 states and the District of Columbia. This act proposed Medicare regulations that require caregiver identification and training prior to a patient being released from a healthcare facility.
In conclusion, this study found that by routinely integrating caregivers into the discharge planning process, they are able to reduce patients’ hospital readmissions by nearly a quarter, improve health outcomes overall, and cut costs to families and patients.
For more information on caregivers and how they can work as a solution for your family, please call 916-933-9777 or visit our website. Our professional staff consists of highly skilled individuals who are in the top 5% of the market. We only hire people that we would personally trust to care for our own parents. We are more than happy to serve those in need of caregiving assistance in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo counties. For daily tips, advice, and news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus.