In-Home Care Services vs. Inpatient Hospital Care: How Do the Costs Compare?

Stephanie Dwilson

In-Home Care Services vs. Inpatient Hospital Care: How Do the Costs Compare?

How do in-home care services compare to inpatient hospital care in terms of costs and quality? You might be surprised to learn that in some cases, in-home care actually costs less than hospital care. But how can employees determine when in-home care is the best alternative?

Here’s how to teach your staff about their care options and where they can go to learn more details.

How In-Home Care Pricing and Quality Compares

Research has indicated that patients who get hospital-level care at home can save money without sacrificing quality. Acute care for in-home patients costs an average of 52 percent less than hospital care. In-home care also brought some unexpected benefits: Patients slept better and got more physical activity when they were at home. Also, only 11 percent of patients experienced readmission, compared with 36 percent for hospital patients.

When Is In-Home Care a Good Option?

Today, more health care providers in the United States are offering in-home care as an alternative to inpatient hospital care. According to NPR, conditions that may qualify for in-home hospital care include congestive heart failure, pneumonia, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and certain serious infections like cellulitis. Not only is the quality of care just as high in-home, but it may lower a patient’s risk of contracting certain infections, like MRSA, that are commonly found in hospital settings.

Helping Your Employees Take Advantage of In-Home Care

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Before you introduce the idea of in-home care to your employees, talk to your health care agent to make sure it’s covered by your insurance plan. Some health insurance carriers don’t offer an easy way to cover hospital care at home, as NPR notes. Others may cover only certain services or providers. Spend some time talking to your health care insurer about what options are available to your employees.

If your current plan does not cover in-home health care, consider if it’s worth revisiting your health plan offerings. If coverage is already available, set up a meeting where your staff can meet with an agent who can introduce the hows and whys of in-home services. Consider providing detailed emails or printouts explaining what types of conditions typically qualify.

The benefits of in-home care services make figuring out your health plan options time well spent. Your first step is to set up an appointment with your health care agent to talk about your options.

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