Healthcare delivery is changing from a Hospital focus to a community focus. And with this change, Retirement Communities, operating in a very competitive market, are obliged to be a participant in their residents’ healthcare.
Hospitals, responding to their own set of pressures, are discharging patients earlier and earlier in the course of their patients’ recovery from an illness, transferring the burden and responsibility of coordinating their care during this fragile time to the patients themselves.
- In 2011 The Centers for Disease Control noted that seniors discharged from hospitals between 1990 and 2010 had a 31-36% shorter length of stay.
- In 2012 The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality noted that many discharged patients were home bound and needed either skilled nursing or physical therapy, as there was a 79% increase in patients being discharged to Home Health services during a similar time frame.
This increased demand for community-based healthcare unfortunately has not been accompanied by easier access to primary care physicians. Although patients were sicker, the only way to see their physician was still to somehow struggle into the physician’s office. As disagreeable as this was to both patients and physicians, there simply was no alternative to this model.
But now there is an alternative. House Calls answer is a model that encourages a partnership with physicians, Retirement Communities, and their residents. Full primary care can now be delivered to residents in the comfort and convenience of their Retirement Community apartment. Regularly scheduled clinics are put in place where residents may voluntarily see the House Calls physician for either single visits or as their PCP. And this partnership allows even more benefits:
- Any new resident to the Retirement Community will automatically be accepted as a patient if requested.
- Home Health orders will be signed within 24-48 hours of request.
- Physician directed healthcare coordination, where all who participate in a resident’s healthcare, are now led by a physician and unified as a TEAM rather than acting as separate individual services who don’t communicate with one another.
- Memory Care residents and their families and staff members are spared the stress and inconvenience of transporting these fragile individuals off-site for routine doctor visits.
- A Marketing and Promotional advantage that identifies THIS COMMUNITY as a LEADER by offering a service that ALL RESIDENTS WANT, WITHOUT EXCEPTION – easy and convenient access to a physician-led team of healthcare professionals.
- Stabilization of Community census by reducing health related attrition through pro-active, early, physician-led intervention in a resident’s declining health.
- Growing of Community census by capturing prospective residents who choose THIS Community because of its unparalleled healthcare support.
EVERYBODY WINS with this partnership. We intend to meet the challenge of tackling the increasing community healthcare needs by converting our experience into a huge success. Our communities, not hospitals, will be the focus of healthcare in the future…and we and our partners are ready!