Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why the Demand for Home Healthcare Is on the Rise

Plenty of jobs are seeing decreases in demand, even in the seemingly untouchable healthcare industry, but home healthcare is not one of them. On the contrary: the demand for home healthcare professionals is increasing. Many people require home healthcare, either for a short or extended period of time, or even indefinitely, and this group of people continues to grow. It seems that anyone going into the healthcare field right now should consider whether a home healthcare career is right for them.

The increasing demand for health care workers in the home can be attributed in part to the large baby boom generation that is now easing into its golden years. More critically and terminally ill people are also choosing to be cared for at home, rather than spending their precious time in a hospital bed or nursing home. People recovering from injuries and surgeries may opt for home health care services, as well.

New technology means that even home healthcare procedures are more complex and advanced than ever. Plus, people are living longer than ever, and new cures and treatments are allowing people to survive illnesses and injuries from which they might not otherwise have recovered. All these factors have brought home healthcare to the forefront of the job market.

Home health services used to make up a small segment of the healthcare industry, but now home healthcare workers are highly in demand in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that this increase in patient demand for home healthcare options has led to a boom in this industry, and other sources say it is one of the top jobs in demand for any industry, not just healthcare.

So what kinds of jobs are available in the home health care industry? Nurses are enjoying the largest percentage of home health care jobs, ranging from Licensed Vocational Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses to Registered Nurses to Nurse Practitioners. Salaries vary, depending on what kind of education, training and certification you have. Your geographic location, employer and years of experience will also affect your income potential.

Some labor statistics point to as high as 50 percent growth in the home health care industry in recent years. More people are requesting this service than ever before. In response, more people are heeding the call and training for jobs in this field, which require skills in a wide variety of medical procedures for a massively diverse patient population.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Home Health Care Agency Tips

Getting home health care services is an investment. It would be something that your family would be considering for a long time. With this, you need to make sure that your care services are appropriate for the care recipient. You should also look at the other details of the agency when it comes to the professionals that they are hiring.

The first thing you need to do is find a list of accredited and licensed agencies. This would give you the basic assurance that you would be getting the right and the best kind of home health care for your folks.

Once you get this list, it would be best to make a shortlist in terms of their proximity to your home. This way, you can take time to visit them and also research about them. You can go to the location and check it out yourself. You should know how long the agency has been in operation so far so that you would be able to qualify how they would serve the purpose of caring for your folks.

Reference checks are a must. You need to be sure that the care worker is licensed and also comes from a clean background. So you should also make it a point to ask what specific methods your home health care agency uses when it comes to hiring their health professionals.

Speaking of references, you should also ask if they get in touch with specific agencies or professionals for the said background information. This would also help you understand how well-affiliated they are with other networks.

You should also look at the specific services being offered by the home health care agency. Make sure that they have what your folks need and what the doctor would have to prescribe to them. It is important that the care provided in the agency also coordinates well with your folks' medical condition.

Once you have zeroed in on your home health care agency, better book an appointment with them. This way you can discuss in person all the necessary things that you would want to ask and clarify. You should also ask if you can be given the chance to choose the professional to work with your folks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home Health Care: Your Choice

You don't have to make the terrible decision to send one of your loved ones to a hospital or nursing home - there is always the home health care option! Just think, you might even be able to save money by having a professional come to your home to take care of someone who has been hurt.

Home health care, in the most basic sense, is where a trained agent will come in and do all of the things that a patient would have needed at the hospital, but in the convenient setting of a home environment, where friends and family can be around as well to help things.

During a home heath care contract, personnel can do things like physical and occupational therapy, nutrition therapy, handle treatment that deals with medication or IV's, deal with things like patient and caregiver knowledge, and monitor any possible serious condition that might pop up. All of the attention will definitely be on you, the patient, instead of many at a hospital.

There are all sorts of agencies that have home health care options. You'll find companies ranging from tiny neighborhood ones to major corporate ones, and the options that you need will be clearly defined when you talk to any of them for the first time. Just don't be scared to ask questions.

The home health care staff will take care of a patients eating and drinking, check on vitals like temperature, breathing, pain levels, amount of sleep they get, heart rate, and blood pressure. In addition, they can take care of things like basic cooking and cleaning, depending on the program you've set up for them.

Always make sure that they explain to you how the plan of car works as well. It's basically just a list of all the services and equipment you need at your home, as well as schedules and time frames, and what type of results you should expect during what stage of the care the patient is in at any given time. Any adjustment in care should be indicated on this list.

The process should be under a state of constant improvement as well. Every day there will be challenges, and the challenges should be met with ideas about how to make the situation better for everyone involved. Staff should always be polite and respectful, and if they aren't, it is time to choose a new company.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What's the Organic Food Industry Up To?

As people are becoming more health conscious, traditional ways of farming are being patronized by farmers as well as big corporations in order to meet the consumers' demands. This calls for farming practices that does not involve genetically enhanced crops and livestock, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Indeed, the organic food industry is experiencing a growth compared to its genetically modified counterparts.

So, what's the big deal with the organic food industry? Some people say that it is no better than crops grown with artificial fertilizers and livestock feed with enriched ingredients. But what people need to know is that the organic food industry offers them with the safest and cheapest agricultural produce that will benefit every one's health.

The organic food industry is also regulated by the governments of the countries where they operate. They have to comply with the standards of the government because each country has their own parameters of when to consider food as "organic".

Here are some reasons why the industry should be recognized as the excellent provider of organic foods that are naturally grown.

• The organic industry does not use chemical fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers pose a threat to people who eat plants treated with it. People can also ingest the harmful toxins in chemical fertilizers by eating crops which are artificially "fattened" by these fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers also exhaust the soil, draining its valuable nutrients. Instead, they use natural fertilizers such as animal manure and urea and decomposed plants. Such fertilizers are safe, and plants grown with natural fertilizers have more nutrients.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Home Health Care History

The early nineteenth century witnessed the initial stages of the home health care industry that offered qualified nurses to take care of the poor and sick in their homes. In 1909 when Metropolitan Life Insurance Company started to write policies that comprised of home health care, this industry became very popular. This company is credited for paying the first compensation for home health care industry. This gave rise to the birth of organized home health care.

The Great Depression in 1929 caused several businesses along with home care industry a lot of hindrances and struggle. This went on till the follow-up visits made by nurses after hospital discharge became reimbursable by the Medicare Act of 1966. The home care industry became most feasible and practical when Medicare in an attempt to reduce hospitalization costs set up DRG's program (Diagnostic Related Group). This laid down that some disease or hospital practice needed a certain stay period. So the discharged patients were more sick compared to their DRG counterparts.

The story does not finish with DRGs. This in fact was the commencement of patient care vs. medical ethics debate. This subject shall be soon addressed in the present health care reform segment. The price of health care is the issue. Questions like how much does a human life cost and how long one should pay for keeping alive a person after he ceases to be a contributor to the society need to be addressed.

Home health care industry needs to answer these questions. The main intention of the DRG programs was to cut down the hospital stay in order to lower hospitalization costs. Thus this becomes a challenge to the agencies. But gradually home care started becoming expensive. The Balanced Budge Act of 1997 hand one major side effect. It limited the benefit days to the patients under home health care thereby lowering the compensations to the various home health care agencies. This resulted in many of these agencies going out of business.

The price to take care of a patient will always stay an issue. There was a growth of nosocomial diseases in hospitals that lead to heavy health care costs. Patients started getting discharged in a much sicker condition than before. This put additional burden on the family of the patient to make available good care once the family member is home. Also majority of the people were working. Home health care agencies that provide services were unable to discharge patients when they exceed their Medicare days if they are in a bad condition or its not safe to depart from them without any nursing services.

In case the home care agency declines admission of a patient who seems sicker than the number of reimbursement days allowed by the government, the patients' family does not have too many choices. In case of the patient being discharged without any adequate follow-up care, the patients' family can seek services of a qualified agency that could strain on emergency room visits and re-hospitalization leading to more compensation issues. Such questions are difficult to answer more so in cases where cost is to be taken care of. But, as time passes, such questions will continue to haunt till there are satisfactory answers to them.