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Jennifer Hale, VP of clinical quality and standards provides insights in Home Health Care News article

Home Health Care News published an article about home health referral rejections featuring insights from Compassus Vice President of Clinical Quality and Standards Jen Hale. Home Health Care News is a leading resource for news and information on the senior in-home care industry.

This past winter didn’t have the COVID-19 surge that the previous one did. And yet, the referral rejection rate reached an all-time high in-home health care – all the way up to 76%. All the while, patients being referred to home health have a higher acuity level on average. Nursing home referrals are also up compared to 2019, a fact that would surprise some health care experts during the peak of the pandemic. These are just a few of the home health referral trends that are reflective of the current landscape. Those trends are especially noteworthy amid looming payment rate cuts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). They are also causing home health providers to redefine operational best practices.

Sicker patients

Though hospital length of stay is down compared to last year, it is still up almost a whole day compared to 2019.

“This is as a result of the pandemic,” Jennifer Hale, the VP of clinical quality and standards at Compassus, told me. “It reduced the availability of acute care. But what we’ve learned in the past few years is we actually can do more clinically complex care at home.”

The Brentwood, Tennessee-based Compassus is a provider of home health care, infusion therapy, palliative care and hospice care. It has more than 200 locations across 30 states.

“The burden on the provider community is to figure out how to close the gap between the things that are not necessarily considered part of health care, such as the social determinants, food security, access to medication, safety needs, mobility needs, those things which make a person successful in their home,” Hale continued.

Caring for more clinically complex patients puts further strain on staff, too. But the trend has been noticeable for long enough that providers have begun to successfully adapt, for the most part.

To read the full article, click here: Home Health Referral Rejection Rate Continues To Climb – Home Health Care News