EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 2, 2013

Home health care industry sees boom ahead -- and challenges

(Continued)

If a patient has problems at home, she said, the home health agency can notify the hospital and discharging physician and get directions on how to treat the patient there, not the emergency room or hospital.

Emory Healthcare has had a 5 to 7 percent annual increase in the number of patients discharged to home health in the past three years. In 2010, 12.5 percent of all patients discharged from the hospital got home health services. That jumped to 14.6 percent in 2012 and is expected to top 15 percent this year.

As hospitals move toward accountable care, they will be compensated based on patient outcomes, and penalized for swift readmissions.

“The plan of care needs to continue in the community, or you end up with a readmission,” said Barbara Ozmar, director of patient care coordination at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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