Thus far, there’s been little information on the outcomes of patients with COVID-19 who are discharged to the home setting. According to U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, only 1 in 10 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are discharged to home health services. Nationwide, that is only 11% that are getting home health care.
COVID-19 and Home Care
The first case of COVID-19 in New York was reported on March 1, 2020. Since then New York has had more than 601,000 cases and over 33,000 deaths. Bowles and McDonald conducted a study on 1,409 patients admitted to home health care services. 85% of these patients needed assistance with all day to day tasks. Most of their symptoms included, body pain, trouble breathing and severe fatigue. However, this changed dramatically after receiving home care.
Around the 32 day mark, 94% of patients were no longer in need of care with out adverse effects. As a result these patients made a full recovery. Moreover, these patients not only gained functional independence but also drastic symptom improvement.
The Value of Home Health Care
Going forward, these findings will help agencies with their approaches to care for patients with COVID-19. A key finding was the balance of in-person and telephone/video visits. Patients received 75% of care in-person to 25% over the phone or via video.
Home health care continues to be an important service for those with aging or with chronic illness. Moreover, home care is expanding to serve more than just the needs of the elderly. These findings have proven how important it can be in treating COVID-19.