Our weekly list of news, reports, and information about home health and hospice care. Learn about new studies, trends, CMS regulations and more.
Amazon has purchased Health Navigator, a firm that describes itself as a clinical content partner and provides technology and services to digital health companies. The news was first reported by CNBC, though a purchase price was not revealed. The acquisition marks another major step for the e-commerce retailer into the healthcare space. Amazon acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy, last year for an estimated $1 billion. Health Navigator will become part of Amazon Care, the company’s primary care platform targeted to employees that launched in September.
Geriatric Care Services Market: Industry Analysis, Opportunity Assessment and Forecast up to 2013–2019
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Federal watchdogs and health care policymakers are signaling plans to ramp up oversight of fraud, waste and abuse in 2020, especially when it comes to home health and hospice agencies. While the efforts are, in part, linked to the misuse of Medicare dollars by bad actors, they’re also simply a result of the U.S. health care sector’s ongoing evolution and increased complexity, according to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials.
As hospices seek new ways to engage patients further upstream, a rising number are diversifying their services to include home-based primary care, along with palliative care and other care models. Evidence indicates that these primary care programs carry substantial benefits for patients and families and can have a significant positive impact on a hospice’s bottom line. These programs have been shown to reduce costs, reduce unwanted high-acuity care at the end of life and enable patients to enter hospice earlier in the course of their terminal illness. When it comes to length of stay in hospice, providers’ missions dovetail with their financial interests. As of 2017, nearly 28% of hospice patients died within seven days of admission, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Nearly 13% expired during their second week of hospice care. More than half of hospice patients are enrolled for fewer than 30 days.