By Kathleen Ganster
In 2010, at almost $2.6 trillion, national health expenditures were 17.9% of gross domestic product.
By 2021, according to a recent article in HealthAffairs: “National Healthcare Expenditure Projections,” that number is projected to be about $4.8 trillion and 19.6% of GDP.
With discussions of bundled payments for episodes of care being considered, penalties for rehospitalizations now being enforced, and incentives for quality through accountable care organizations, tools to collaborate towards accountable care, medical home and patient-centered models of care, along with care transition and care coordination, have become a key focus and driver at Celtic Healthcare.
“Healthcare is evolving into a value-based care environment,” said Greg Teamann, Vice President of Information Technology at Celtic Healthcare, “and we are positioning Celtic to be an important partner in this new care model.”
In an effort to integrate acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic disease management and end-of-life care with hospitals, physician groups and insurance companies - who are all under increased economic and quality pressure to increase their level of integration – Celtic Healthcare is strategically positioning themselves as a leader in developing technology and innovative care delivery models as a solution to this crisis.
By Jodi McKinney, Director of Corporate Communications, Celtic Healthcare
“I might as well just end it,” said 67-year old Charlie Reisser of Kingston, PA, after coming home from the funeral of his beloved wife of 47 years and finding a letter in the mailbox from the State informing him that he will no longer receive his supplemental public assistance.
When asked what he thinks of the proposed deficit reduction plan to implement a $100 copay on the Medicare home health benefit, he stated simply, “I just wouldn’t use it. If I had to pay $100 to have home health care for myself or if they would have asked for it in the care of my recently passed wife, we would have declined. We just could not have afforded it. It would take the last 100 bucks I have.”
Copayments for Medicare home health services have been proposed in Congress as a means of limiting the growth of Medicare home health expenditures; but as Charlie would attest, copays are regressive and inefficient. Copays would most heavily affect our poorest, oldest, and frailest beneficiaries.
Charlie, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from cancer and congestive heart failure, lives in a HUD apartment building, which costs him $501 per month in rent out of his total income from Social Security of $1,063 per month. He retired at 62 years old to take care of his sick wife, who was ten years his senior. Shirley passed away December 2, 2012 after being on Celtic Hospice and Palliative Care of NE PA.
“She was my life. I have lost everything. To come home the day of her funeral and find that letter from the State put me over the edge,” expressed Charlie.
Fortunately, after several phone calls, visits, pleas and tears, intervention from a friendly staff member at the Public Assistance office found that the letter was a “mistake,” and he would still receive his benefits.
The day I spoke with Charlie, it was mid-month, and he had $76 in food stamps left and less than $100 in cash to make it through to the end of the month. If he needed home health care, Charlie stated, “there is just no way I could afford the copay if that were instituted.”
Congress must oppose copayments for Medicare home health services. Copays would create a significant barrier for those most in need of home care and would result in the increased use of more costly care from hospitalization and institutional care.
Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on the Celtic Healthcare Blog and was reprinted with permission from Celtic Healthcare.
By Kathleen Ganster
There are changes in healthcare delivery every day and the only way for healthcare providers to stay current, is for ongoing professional development for their employees.
Celtic Healthcare, a leader in home healthcare, is also a leader in continuing education for their staff.
“We know the importance of training and have a blended approach,” said Amy Shortall, Clinical Education Supervisor for Celtic.
Utilizing skilled staff combined with technology, Shortall said their “blended” training includes virtual classroom training, clinical hands-on training, webinar meetings and videos staff can watch according to their own schedules.
According to a recent article by the National Association for Homecare and Hospice (NAHC):
“Our country is facing a crisis. It’s summed up in two numbers: 5 and 50. They stand for the 5 percent of patients who account for 50 percent of rising health care costs that threaten to cripple federal government and states. The answer to the problem is also summed up in numbers released by the Department of Labor this year. The latest data from the DOL shows that home care has boomed as America ages and the baby boomers begin entering their golden years. Registered nurses, home health aides, and personal care aides are among the top five occupations projected to see the largest increase in jobs by 2020 as more people need their services than ever before.”
“Home care is the answer to that costly 5 percent of Americans who suffer from multiple, chronic conditions. By keeping them out of hospitals and in their homes, home care saves money — and supports an even greater cause.”
To read more, visit: http://www.nahc.org/HCHPCMonth/. Click here to learn more about homecare, or watch this brief video. To learn more about hospice, visit our sitehere or watch this informative video.
Angie Hollis-Sells, President of AseraCare, discusses how AseraCare Home Health, Hospice, and Palliative Medicine meets the needs of individuals and their families.
The 11-minute documentary chronicles the stories of three Pennsylvania families grappling with common issues that many people face as they care for their loved ones.
The companion guidebook provides information about the different types of long-term care that are available, where to find them, what questions to ask, how much they cost and resources available to help pay for caring aging parents, try to navigate the healthcare system and find the resources they need to keep loved ones at home.
A study released at an annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago has revealed that memorization is an effective way to combat memory loss.
About 40 percent of people over the age of 60 have some kind of memory impairment. So the researchers decided to study how repeated cognitive exercise impacts memory and recall, as well as the health of brain cells involved in memory.
The study involved 24 healthy older adults between the ages of 55 and 70. The volunteers engaged in six weeks of intensive rote learning, memorizing a newspaper article or poem of 500 words, followed by six weeks of rest.
“We didn’t see an immediate improvement following the intensive memorization period,” said Jonathan McNulty, B.Sc., H.Dip., of Diagnostic Imaging at the School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin in Ireland. “However, after a six-week rest, the volunteers manifested both metabolic changes in the brain and improved memory performance.”
Lori Putnam, Vice President of Human Resources and Amy Shortall, Preceptor Coordinator recently received certification as facilitators in “The EQ Difference: A Different Kind of Smart” through the Adele Lynn Leadership Group.
At the heart of all outstanding businesses is a culture that promotes productivity and quality by honoring people and creating trusting relationships at all levels of the company. Without leaders who can forge the right climate, organizations are limited and distracted by events and symptoms that dampen morale and discourage the attainment of business goals.
Emotional intelligence is the essential building block in the leaders’ ability to establish the right climate for businesses to succeed. Leaders at all levels of the organization, from front line supervisor to CEO, must demonstrate a high degree of emotional intelligence in their leadership roles. A Different Kind of Smart™ demonstrates the direct link between emotional intelligence and leadership performance and gives leaders specific ways to improve their performance.
To learn more about this program, please visit:http://www.lynnleadership.com/index.htm.
The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) today announced it has agreed to acquire a majority interest in Celtic Healthcare, Inc., a leading provider of skilled home healthcare and hospice services in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions. Arnie Burchianti, Celtic’s founder and CEO, will continue to run the business as CEO and co-owner. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Company, said: “Our acquisition of Celtic Healthcare is part of the Post Company’s ongoing strategy of investing in companies with demonstrated earnings potential and strong management teams attracted to our long-term investment horizon. It also fits with our decentralized operating philosophy. We are a diverse group of businesses sharing common goals and values but each with its own identity and workplace culture, and with management responsible for its operations.”
Technology has come a long way over the course of older adults’ lifetimes. They have witnessed everything from men landing on the moon to dramatic medical advances and the rise of an Internet-dependent society.
Seniors also bear witness to the ways technology is changing the face of aging. Impact your clients’ quality of life by sharing these five tech solutions that may help to keep older adults healthy, safe and socially connected while making caregiving tasks less stressful for their family members.
1. Social Connection – Video Chat and Social Media Keep Seniors in Touch with Long-distance Loved Ones
According to UnitedHealthcare’s 2012 100@100 survey of centenarians, staying socially engaged is just as important to healthy aging as genetics and maintaining a healthy body.
While no technology can take the place of in-person human interaction, video chat services like Skype, or Internet-based communication channels such as email and social media, can supplement seniors’ social interactions when visits with friends and family aren’t possible or too infrequent. Seniors can check with their local senior center for Internet how-to classes, or they can have a tech-savvy grandchild get them set up and show them the ropes.
Local senior care experts are urging Allegheny and Washington County families to be alert for scammers who may be targeting their senior loved ones with a variety of clever cons that could jeopardize not only their life savings, but their independence.
“Scam artists are specifically targeting seniors, because they are the fastest-growing segment of the population, which has led to increased demands on law enforcement agencies,” said Lucy Novelly, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care® offices serving seniors in Southwest Allegheny and Washington Counties. “This scenario has the potential to put more local seniors than ever at risk of losing their life savings, their homes and their trust in others.”
As a result, the nonprofit National Association of Triads and the local Home Instead Senior Care office have launched a public information program to educate families and seniors about how to protect themselves. The Home Instead Senior Care office in Bethel Park also will be hosting a shredding event open to the public on Thursday, Aug. 23 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its office parking lot at 2000 Oxford Drive.
Just a century ago, you could expect to live until age 50. That’s it. It was “end of the road,” not “over the hill” as we call it today. But thanks to advances in health care and overall standards of living since 1900, the current average life expectancy has risen to 78.4 in the U.S. and 81.5 in Canada, according to the CIA World Factbook. Today, many seniors even live into their 90s or past 100—a feat of healthy, purposeful living that other older adults can model with guidance from senior healthcare professionals.
Living Long = Living Well
It makes sense. Seniors who stay healthy live longer. But how can you help seniors maintain good health when the odds of developing dementia, diabetes, heart disease, some form of cancer, or a host of other ailments are against them? Some answers might come from the Greek island of Ikaria where a remarkable one in three natives reach 90 years of age.
Seniors usually are most comfortable in their homes and doctors often concur.
If their doctor agrees that your senior loved one can be at home, ask what they will need to successfully maintain their independence.
A study, presented recently at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, revealed that home-based diet and exercise interventions can improve the physical function of senior citizens who are long-term cancer survivors.
Those interventions proved particularly important for seniors, who are known to have more difficulty than younger people in recovering normal functions, like climbing stairs, carrying groceries or taking a shower, than younger people. Those in this intervention group made significant recovery.