Right at Home Participates in Study to Improve Aging for Seniors

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Partnership Will Help Determine How Home Care Can Improve Senior Health and Reduce Costs

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Right at Home, an international in-home care franchise, is working with researchers from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy and ClearCare, the provider of software that the Right at Home franchise system uses to better monitor clients to improve at-home senior health care. The program, titled “The Intervention in Home Care to Improve Outcomes,” or simply the “In-Home Program,” will test a new, large-scale, randomized intervention aimed at preventing hospitalizations, improving health outcomes, and lowering Medicare spending among private-pay home care recipients.

The program consists of two components: The first is early identification of changes in patient condition; and the second is monitoring (or helping to manage) these changes in the home.

If these changes remain undetected and unmanaged, they frequently escalate into costly hospitalizations. Under this new program, acute changes in a patient’s physical or cognitive status are observed and reported via a Right at Home caregiver’s checklist, using the ClearCare software. Any changes in the patient’s status are communicated in real time to a Right at Home care manager who reviews a reported change in condition and decides on the appropriate course of action. By identifying avoidable conditions in the early stages, determining the appropriate escalation, and then managing the condition in the home, the In-Home Program can achieve the “win-win” of improving outcomes while lowering health care spending for the home care population. Harvard Medical School will be closely monitoring and analyzing how the software and caregivers come together to prevent hospitalizations while reducing costs.

“According to the U.S. Department of Health, roughly 28 percent – or 11.8 million – American seniors now live alone,” said Allen Hager, Founder and Executive Chair of Right at Home. “While this fact illustrates that there is, indeed, a real need for home help for seniors, what’s even more critical is that it prompts us to gain a deeper understanding and validation of how this help can support a better quality of life.”

The participants of the In-Home Program are hoping to lower health spending and maximize quality of life as the American population continues to age at a record pace. The program could help promote the option for seniors to remain at home and receive care there as both a cost-effective and personally satisfying solution.

“We are experiencing a massive demographic shift, with more older people than younger for the first time in human history,” said Geoff Nudd, CEO of ClearCare. “This fact, in combination with expensive treatments driving the health care cost crisis, is prompting a general examination of how preventative, nonmedical care might be the answer to the problem. This program will provide us with invaluable insight into how the power of home care can improve lives.”

This important research will be managed by a team led by Dr. David Grabowski, Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. It will be done at scale through the Right at Home franchise system, collecting data on nearly 20,000 seniors from more than 350 Right at Home locations in 45 states, and utilizing the power of the ClearCare software platform, including immediate field communication, scheduling and telephony, and customized daily care plans.

“To date, almost no one has looked on a large-scale basis at how the private-pay home care population utilizes health care,” said Grabowski. “In this program, we will have access to a large population of private-paying home care recipients via our partnership with Right at Home. We will also have the ability to identify detailed changes in care-recipient condition and hospitalizations over time via our partnership with ClearCare.”

Findings could additionally benefit provider groups and health plans that are increasingly working together to decrease hospitalizations, reduce the overall expense to health networks, and ultimately lower costs for the care recipient. Until now, these providers and plans have not typically reimbursed for home care services, which are mostly paid for privately by the care recipient, because the impact of these services has not been formally examined at scale. The discoveries of the In-Home Program could further reinforce aging at home as not only the choice of most seniors, but also as a model of aging that simultaneously lowers health care spending while maximizing quality of life.

ABOUT RIGHT AT HOME:
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, and bonded/insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with more than 350 franchise locations in the U.S. and more than 40 locations in seven other countries. In addition, Right at Home is the first U.S. in-home senior care franchise to enter Brazil and China. For more information on Right at Home, visit About Right at Home at http://www.rightathome.net/about-us or read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Right at Home, visit http://www.rightathomefranchise.com.

ABOUT CLEARCARE:
ClearCare is a San Francisco-based software company that offers the world's first front- and back-office solution for private duty home care agencies. ClearCare's web and mobile platform for scheduling, integrated telephony, two-way caregiver messaging, and marketing makes the business of home care administration intuitive, efficient, and paper- free. Over a thousand local and national home care companies have chosen ClearCare's best-of-breed system for its innovation, ease of use, and point-of-care transparency. As customers attest, the results include more efficient operations, lower administrative costs, growth in new clients and referrals, increased profits, lower turnover, and higher quality care. For more information, please go to clearcareonline.com.

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Lauren Kaminski
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