Medication adherence is often a deciding factor to a person remaining in their home. Medication mistakes can occur due to complicated regimens, cognitive and physical impairments, and social issues. Healthcare costs exceeded 2.7 trillion dollars across the United States in 2010, and it is expected to be even higher by 2020. Statistics show that 28% of hospitalizations with the elderly population are caused from medication mistakes (O luga & McGuire, 2014).
Nursing home admissions can also be related to medication mismanagement. It is estimated in 2008 that approximately 14 billion dollars was spent on drug-related admissions into nursing homes in the United States (Antle & Marek, 2008). It is predicted that more than 3 million seniors are admitted into a nursing facility each year due to medication mismanagement or other medication related problems (O’Quin, Semalulu, & Orom, 2015). Nursing home admissions cost the state a significant amount of money, as the average nursing home cost in Illinois is $178.00 per day (Genworth, 2015).
Medicaid is the payer source for 1.4 million Americans in nursing homes. Due to older people living longer and extremely high healthcare costs, 64% of people in nursing homes are depending on Medicaid for payment. It is expected that federal Medicaid spending will rise over 6% per year and it is currently at 389 billion this year. The numbers are staggering when you consider that most of the Medicaid recipients are non-elderly, yet 42% of Medicaid spending is on nursing home care (Rau, 2017).
Medicare pays for short-term home health skilled nursing visits in the home of patients who meet certain criteria for services, but does not pay for long-term medication management services, even though this service alone can help people remain independent in their homes. Medicare’s home health care beneficiary may receive education, engagement of social network, reminders, advocacy and care coordination. (O luga & McGuire, 2014).
Finding an agency to provide private pay, ongoing, nursing visits or having a family member manage medications can assist a person in remaining in their homes. By allocating resources on service in the home, you can save money in the long term by avoiding hospitalization and nursing home placement. Western Illinois Home Health Care provides both intermittent Medicare-covered services and ongoing private pay services. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call us at Western Illinois Home Health Care at 1-800-228-5993.
Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care
by Amanda Powell
Medication Management to Remain Independent at Home