At the invitation of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), WHA Vice President of Policy Development Laura Rose met with the Chapter’s Board of Directors at its meeting on March 28 in Madison. Home care agencies provide services to assist clients with activities of daily living including personal hygiene, medication reminders, assistance with housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping and companionship. These services, which are generally private pay, assist clients in maintaining independence while living in the community, but may also be used by patients to assist with their post-acute care after hospital discharge.
Rose, who leads WHA’s policy work in post-acute care, was asked to share ways that home care providers could support transitions of care for hospitalized home care clients. WHA’s Post-Acute Work Group members suggested conveying the following key messages to the HCAOA Board:
- It is necessary to find ways for hospital discharge planners and home care staff to exchange up-to-date patient information, preferably through an electronic health information exchange platform.
- It would be helpful if the manager of the home care agency serving the patient could come to the hospital to evaluate the patient’s care needs and determine if these needs are within the agency’s scope of practice.
- Home care agencies could be invited to the hospital to provide information to the hospital care coordination staff about the services available through home care agencies.
The HCAOA Board expressed interest in pursuing further connections with hospital staff to provide additional information about the services they can provide at the time of care transitions, which may ultimately help prevent hospital readmissions.