More than 20 million Americans are now choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of Original Medicare, and the numbers are predicted to continue to grow. In fact, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased 50 percent of over the past five years. It’s estimated by 2028 that 42 percent of enrollees will select a Medicare Advantage plan.
It’s Medicare open enrollment time! From October 15 to December 7, adults age 65 and over need to select the type of Medicare plan they want for 2019. Since there are more choices than ever, it's important to review your options carefully before making a decision.
While your patients are in your care, you provide them with quality nutrition care. But, what happens when they go home?
Many transitional care plans may be missing an important piece – nutrition care. Providing access to food allows the frail and elderly to regain their strength and energy faster. Proper nutrition for those at risk improves patient outcomes following surgery or hospitalization.
Addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) is increasingly important to hospitals and healthcare systems. In fact, medical care determines only 20 percent of overall health -- while social, economic, and environmental factors determine 50 percent of overall health. Extending ways to help patients stay healthy outside the hospital can help patients, communities, and hospitals. SDOH include all factors outside of the hospital that affects patients, such as:
Hospitals face many challenges when patients are discharged. Some concerns include if patients understand their care plan and need for follow up appointments. Will your patients have access to healthy meals when they return home? What if they are unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves?
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. But, that is what occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and inadequate nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relapse and readmission.
Those enrolled in original Medicare could be pleased to learn about the benefits of switching to a Medicare Advantage plan.
We know avoiding hospitalizations is a top priority for health plans. One way to keep your members out of the hospital, and to reduce the chance of readmission, is to prevent malnutrition. In fact, roughly one-third of patients who are not malnourished at admission will become so during their stay. Weight loss, being underweight, and failure-to-thrive/malnutrition have all been associated with readmission within 30 days of discharge.
According to Kaiser Health News, 28 percent of patients (many being older adults) who are offered home health care services when they are discharged from the hospital, refuse the services available, which could lead to delayed recoveries, and reduced independence. Studies indicate that those who refuse post-discharge services may have higher rates of readmission to the hospital and a lower quality of life.
Case managers and discharge planners have many things to consider before their patients return home after a hospitalization. You may not be aware that some healthcare plans now offer nutrition care benefits for post-discharge patients.
Benefits of Nutrition Care
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. But, that is exactly what occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and poor nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relaspse and readmission.