Aging is a complicated part of life, and it is important that resources are made available to support our elderly. Senior care often encompasses needs outside of typical insurance plans. Medicare Advantage, often referred to as Medicare Part C, are private insurance plans that offer additional benefits and programs to the elderly while still encompassing standard Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. The goal of these plans is to provide preventative and supplemental care that helps to promote and improve general wellness, reduce hospital stays and readmissions, and lower costs for both the insurer and the insured. As of 2022, nearly half (48%) of all eligible Medicare beneficiaries (28.4 million people out of 58.6 million Medicare beneficiaries overall) were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans — almost double the 19% recorded in 2007.1 What’s more, the average Medicare beneficiary in 2022 had access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of available options in more than a decade.
In a steep competitive landscape, STAR ratings are a significant differentiator for Medicare Advantage providers. STAR ratings were developed to give additional information on available plans and serve as a guide for Medicare beneficiaries seeking a higher standard of care. STAR ratings reflect the quality of benefits received by those already enrolled in similar plans. By offering innovative care solutions, Medicare Advantage providers can boost STAR ratings — displaying a dedication to delivering advanced services that benefit patients, particularly by keeping them healthier, out of the hospital, and in the comfort of their own homes for longer. Aging in place is so important to the quality of life for seniors. A recent study by the AARP found that almost 90% of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age, something modern homecare providers can support through forward-looking services that deliver peace of mind through real-time health and environmental insights.
Together with application partners, CommScope Home Networks can enable homecare providers to deliver a secure and efficient solution that connects, engages, and monitors the elderly and chronically ill. The HomeSight™ system is a remote care solution that leverages familiar TV technology to encourage the elderly to connect more often with caregivers and loved ones, actively engage through educational content, helpful reminders, and virtual communities, and live independently longer through advanced health and environmental monitoring. These services aid with maintaining adherence and compliance of treatment regimens. Proper adherence helps patients maintain higher levels of health, reducing hospital readmissions — a particularly attractive outcome for patients, healthcare and homecare providers, and Medicare Advantage providers.
Hospital readmissions are staggering — both in number and cost. In the US in 2018 for Medicare beneficiaries alone, there were close to 2.3 million 30-day all-cause adult hospital readmissions, with a 16.9 percent readmission rate and an average readmission cost of $15,500.2 The older the patient, the more likely they were to be readmitted in a 30-day period. Hospitals, health systems, and payers continue to implement new strategies in an attempt to reduce preventable readmissions and increase the quality of care for patients. The HomeSight system was designed with this same goal in mind — to promote overall wellness and improve long-term health at lower costs.
Today’s telehealth solutions pose challenges for the elderly, many of whom have difficulty navigating modern technology. Utilizing the television, our HomeSight system offers a familiar experience to increase engagement and reduce friction in communication for patients, caregivers, and healthcare or homecare providers through the continuum of care. By delivering an unobtrusive, whole-home remote care solution, we can aid in treatment adherence, facilitate better communication between patients, loved ones, and caregivers, and simplify patient access to health education, community engagement, and virtual health services.
Partner platforms integrated with the HomeSight system enable patients to remotely share vitals and data with doctors and caregivers, access calendar reminders, schedule and attend virtual appointments, call and connect with loved ones, engage with online communities, view educational health content, and more. Nonintrusive environmental sensors help caregivers and family members access real-time data to deliver peace of mind and security. With a simple connection at their fingertips, elders can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, knowing that comfort and care are just a click away. This truly innovative remote care solution can elevate senior care and bring positive benefits to healthcare and homecare providers, insurance, and patients alike.
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1 KFF. Medicare Advantage in 2022: Enrollment Update and Key Trends. Data Analysis Report. August 2022.
2 Weiss AJ (IBM Watson Health), Jiang HJ (AHRQ). Overview of Clinical Conditions With Frequent and Costly Hospital Readmissions by Payer, 2018. HCUP Statistical Brief #278. July 2021. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.