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All the Comforts of Home Care

All the Comforts of Home Care

Megan Malugani, Monster Contributing Writer

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Medicare and Home Care

Despite the great fulfillment she found in the professional relationships she formed with her home care patients, Barnette notes that the field can be challenging and frustrating. Medicare’s system of reimbursing home care agencies was revamped in recent years, causing a financial crunch that has changed the way home care workers operate. Since agencies are now paid on a per-episode rather than a per-visit basis, home care workers must limit their time with patients while still providing high levels of care, Barnette says. Home care nurses and other professionals must understand how “what they do clinically impacts the financial picture of the agency,” she says. Home care workers “can’t just take care of patients anymore and really be effective. There is a great deal of responsibility and paperwork involved with managing cases.”

The fastest-growing segment of home care is personal care services, also called companion services, which aren’t reimbursed by Medicare, Barnette says. A growing number of people are willing to pay out of pocket for help with their or their parents’ cooking, cleaning, errands and other daily activities. Both personal care services and traditional home care services will continue to grow as Baby Boomers age and our population leads longer lives, experts say. “People can’t go wrong by getting into home care if they think they would like it,” Barnette says.

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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