Fresno Retirement Consultant News: Home Health: Has the Time Come?

The health care industry has been trying to contain expenses through technology offering medical services to people at home. Some insurance plans offer a 24-hour nurse line, allowing you to call a nurse for advice in the middle of the night about a child’s high fever rather than rush to the emergency room. Some providers promote telemedicine for chronic care patients, using a quick video conference to update patient information and allow for a cursory visual exam.

This growing trend has accelerated in light of the coronavirus, which may well be a silver lining. In recent months, virtual care has skyrocketed in use as consumers quickly adopt technology-enabled physician visits as a safer option. Before the pandemic, an average 13,000 Medicare beneficiaries received telemedicine in the span of a week. By the end of April 2020, nearly 1.7 million a week engaged in telemedicine calls.1 On average, a telemedicine call costs $79 versus $146 for a doctor’s office visit.2

This has been particularly key for elderly patients who tend to need more health care but are also more vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. In fact, seniors who receive in-home assisted living have avoided the rampant contagion that has been occurring in nursing homes.3 To further assist the at-home elderly, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a rule in June that would permanently allow reimbursement of administrative expenses for home-health agencies registered with Medicare. Today, about 6 million older Americans receive some form of home-health care, such as skilled nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, home health aides and medical social services. The Trump Administration is also recommending upping payment rates for home-health providers by 2.6% starting in 2021.4

The reality is that people are living well into old age and most people in their late 80s and 90s do need in-home care assistance, whether medical or otherwise. It is very expensive. If you would like to explore ways to help leverage your retirement assets in the event you need to pay for in-home care during your later years, please contact us.

Home-health care is now advancing to a point that addresses one of the elderly’s greatest fears: hospital visits. Because some older people end up dying while in the hospital, it is often associated with dying rather than healing. Unfortunately, it’s true that many older people risk contracting infections and other debilitating effects as a result of entering the hospital for an unrelated ailment. This is particularly true for patients who are frail, cognitively impaired or have other vulnerabilities.5

This reality has prompted Medicare to allow hospital providers to be reimbursed for acute care services delivered in surgery centers, hotels or other non-hospital facilities. The Veterans Health Administration has even funded its own hospital-at-home program. For example, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner may be able to administer lab tests, X-rays and other treatments in the home of a patient, whereas an emergency medicine physician can make diagnosis and treatment decisions via virtual consultation.6

Fresno Retirement Consultant Takeaways 

As your Fresno financial advisor we thought this was a good takeaway: In recent months, virtual care has skyrocketed in use as consumers quickly adopt technology-enabled physician visits as a safer option. This has been particularly key for elderly patients who tend to need more health care but are also more vulnerable to the devastating effects of COVID-19. The reality is that people are living well into old age and most people in their late 80s and 90s do need in-home care assistance, whether medical or otherwise. It is very expensive. If you would like to explore ways to help leverage your retirement assets in the event you need to pay for in-home care during your later years, please contact us.

Diversifying your retirement assets among a variety of vehicles and alternatives—both insurance and investment oriented, depending on what is appropriate for your situation—may offer you a better chance of meeting your retirement income goals throughout your lifespan. We help our clients with problems sometimes associated with retirement such as stopping spend down and avoiding probate. In doing so we leverage Medi-Care long term care as well as risk management designed to help accomplish those goals.

When searching for Fresno financial advisors, look no further than Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. your Fresno portfolio advisor is committed to helping take the complexity out of retirement planning. By using a variety of insurance and investment strategies that focus on Asset Protection, Long-Term Care Strategies, Legacy Planning Tax-Efficient, Strategies IRA, 401(k) & 403(b) Rollovers Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, we can help you develop an overall retirement income strategy specific to you and your family. We have a strong team of professionals helping ensure you receive all the assistance you need not only in developing your retirement income strategy, but in maintaining it throughout your retirement. Contact us today at 559-230-1648 or visit us today at Soutas Financial to get your retirement plans on track for success!

Other Fresno Financial Advisor Articles 

Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc. 
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704 
(559) 230-1648 
Soutas.com 

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications. 

1 Mia Jasper. NextGov. July 17, 2020. “Early data shows patients quickly embraced telemedicine options agencies expanded during the coronavirus pandemic.” https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2020/07/lawmakers-push-make-telehealth-options-permanent/166965/. Accessed July 17, 2020.

2 Himanshu Kansal. Highpoint. July 14, 2019. “Telemedicine: The cost effective future of healthcare.” https://www.highpointsolutions.com/telemedicine-cost-effective-future-healthcare/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

3 Bailey Bryant. Home Health Care News. July 14, 2020. “UnityPoint Health Developing New SNF-at-Home Model, Seeking Home Care Partner.” https://homehealthcarenews.com/2020/07/unitypoint-health-seeks-home-care-partner-for-new-snf-at-home-model%EF%BB%BF/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

4 Rebecca Pifer. HealthCareDive. June 26, 2020. “CMS wants to make home health telemedicine permanent.”

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/cms-wants-to-make-home-health-telemedicine-permanent/580615/. Accessed July 15, 2020.

5 Martha Hostetter and Sarah Klein. The Commonwealth Fund. July 7, 2020. “Has the Time Finally Come for Hospital at Home?” https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletter-article/2020/jul/has-time-finally-come-hospital-home. Accessed July 15, 2020.

6 Ibid.

Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. 
 
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License # OK48173 
 
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Insurance product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Diversification cannot ensure a profit or guarantee against losses in a declining market. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 7/20 – 1252133B