Connecticut ranks in the bottom quarter of the nation in home health care quality. A study found that Connecticut in-home health care patients' ability to get around their home did not improve as much as in other areas of the nation. The state also lags in hospital readmissions. One in three home care patients was admitted to the hospital during the study.
For seniors looking to avoid hospitalization and nursing homes, these findings are worrisome. Future care planning is often based on receiving care at home to save money and improve health outcomes. Gov. Malloy followed this path with his plan to cut health care costs by keeping more patients at home. This study may shake many of those assumptions.
In 2008 Connecticut ranked in the bottom five states at avoiding hospitalization and in 2007 was 38th at improving patient mobility, but this data stands in stark contrast to the state's other high health care rankings.
A spokesperson for the Connecticut Association for Home Care and Hospice explained that the population served by home health care is often chronically ill. The spokesperson said that elderly people are going back and forth between hospitals and home health care before they end up in hospice care.
The region's low rankings are concerning but they also highlight the importance of early planning for care. Three dozen home health agencies exceeded the national median while others fell well below. Designating a care plan and choosing an agency now can lead to better outcomes later.
Source: Hartford Courant, "State Lags In Key Home Health Care Measures, Study Shows," Lisa Chedekel, April 3, 2012
Keywords: in-home health care, care planning