Kindred Healthcare CEO sees opportunity for growth in home health

Dive Brief:

  • Kindred Healthcare CEO Benjamin Breier said that few businesses are entering the home healthcare market, despite low-entry costs and significant opportunities for growth, Louisville Business First reported.

  • Value-based reimbursement models and growth in Medicare Advantage plans will drive opportunities in home healthcare, Breier noted during the question-and-answer session at the 2017 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference.

  • Kindred, which is the largest provider of post-acute care services in the country, could shoot for 60% of its earnings coming from such care, LBF noted. Currently, such earnings account for 40% from that line of business.

Dive Insight:

An aging population and increased focus on cost containment in healthcare will likely mean big things ahead for the home healthcare industry.

The global market for home healthcare services, which was valued at $244.4 billion in 2015, should grow by 7.8% annually through 2025, according to estimates from Grand View Research. As health systems take on more of the financial risk associated with caring for patients, they are increasingly motivated to keep them out of hospitals. Typical home healthcare costs come out to about $50 per day compared while typical inpatient stays cost $3,250 per day.

Where hospitals send patients for post-acute care can have a significant impact on spending. Post-surgery care costs for hip replacement patients were 129% more at the highest-cost hospitals than the lowest-cost hospitals, according to research published January by Health Affairs. High-cost hospitals were more likely to send patients to nursing or rehabilitation facilities while low-cost hospitals were more likely to shy away from inpatient services.

Advancements in technology have played a large role in growing availability of home healthcare services. Ridesharing apps can eliminate the need for home healthcare patients to worry about transportation to appointments while tablets, wearable technology and other in-home medical devices can help care coordination.

The home healthcare industry seems destined for growth as technology continues to improve and health systems continue to transform delivery systems. As that growth occurs, there will be a significant increase in the home healthcare workforce. Demand for home health and personal care aids in the United States will increase to 13 million by 2020, up about 70% from 2010, according to Grand View.

Filed Under: Hospital Administration
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