Survey Results: Physician Perceptions, Use of Home Health Services

A Massachusetts Medical Society survey, performed in collaboration with the Home Care Alliance, has shown that a vast majority of physicians believe home health care services provide multiple advantages in improving health care quality and reducing costs without compromising outcomes, but administrative burdens, reimbursement issues, and lack of access to the services are regarded as main barriers to using these services.

Click here to see the full results of the physician survey.

Advantages: The main advantages to home services cited by physicians were better compliance with the patient’s care plan (78% of respondents), reduced stress on caregivers (73%), improved coordination of care (65%), and fewer visits to emergency departments (63%). An overwhelming number of physicians – 97% – say the services help them better manage their patients’ care at home.

Barriers: The main barriers to using these services cited by physicians were administrative burdens (paperwork, 54%), reimbursement issues (40%), and availability of workers (33%). The barrier of reimbursements, however, appears to be one that can be readily fixed by education and information: of the 71% of physicians who reported that they did not submit charges to Medicare for the services, 64% of those said they were unaware of the reimbursement.

The survey also touched on the potential to reduce caregiver stress and also the disparity in home health usage by primary care doctors versus specialists.

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