In stratifying patients for these home visits, 62 percent rely on care manager referrals.
These were just two findings from the 2016 Home Visits survey conducted by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Nearly three quarters of the survey's 107 respondents visit targeted patients at home, an intervention that can illuminate health-related, socioeconomic or safety determinants that might go undetected during an office visit.
Who's conducting these home visits? In more than half of responding programs, a registered nurse handles the visit, although on rare occasions, patients may open their door to a primary care physician (4 percent), pharmacist (4 percent) or community paramedic (3 percent).
Once inside the home, the visit is first and foremost about patient and caregiver education, say 81 percent of respondents, with an emphasis on medication reconciliation (80 percent). Fifty-nine percent also screen at-home patients for social and economic determinants of health, factors that can have a huge impact on an individual's health status.
Patient engagement, including obtaining consent for home visits, tied with funding and reimbursement issues tied as the top challenges associated with in-home patient visits.
How to know if home visits are working? The most telling success indicator is a reduction in 30-day hospital readmission rates, say 83 percent of survey respondents, followed by a drop in hospital and ER utilization (64 percent). Seventy percent of survey respondents reported either a drop in readmissions or in ER visits.
Here are a few more metrics derived from HIN's 2016 Home Visits survey:
- Eighty-five percent of respondents believe that the use of in-home technology enhances home visit outcomes.
- Fifteen percent report home visits ROI of between 2:1 and 3:1.
- Eighty percent have seen clients’ self-management skills improve as a result of home visits.