We have seen additional pressure on our health system in recent years. Health care in all areas is being stressed, and COVID-19 is just one reason. Staffing shortages and greater demand for services all contribute to the problem of providing quality health care.
The pressure of dealing with greater demand for health care is not limited to just hospitals and clinics. We see an increasing demand for long-term health care as well. Greater demand and higher labor costs in all areas mean health care providers must find ways for better efficiency and better quality care.
Extended lifespans and growing rates of chronic conditions are placing pressure on the health system. More people require long-term health care and experts say that there will be greater demand for care in all settings in the years ahead.
Our health system was never designed to manage the health care needs of individuals becoming older and experiencing declining health. As people get older, they, in increasing numbers, need help with daily activities and supervision due to cognitive decline. These chronic health conditions linger over the final years of a person's life.
RPM Benefits Care Recipients - Not Just Providers
Have you ever heard about RPM before? No, not revolutions per minute—remote patient monitoring, a handy medical technology designed to streamline the health care process for clinicians and patients alike.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) doesn't just benefit clinicians—it helps their patients as well. Simply, RPM helps reduce the cost of all types of health care. It, however, doesn't stop at just reducing the cost. Research has shown that RPM will improve the overall quality of care, improving patient outcomes. Health care providers will be able to stay on top of critical situations right away as they get the extra help of monitoring more patients at once.
Remote patient monitoring, as the name suggests, allows clinicians to monitor their patients remotely. They use devices that we're all familiar with, like smartwatches and tablets, to do this. Using this technology, they can check vital statistics at the click of a button and schedule virtual health checkups with the same ease.
RPM makes it easier for clinicians to do their jobs, but it offers a whole host of benefits for patients, too.
Better Access for Everyone
Not everyone lives close to a hospital or clinic or has the means to get to one quickly and safely. Not to mention that during a pandemic, access to in-person health care is extremely limited.
Luckily, RPM solves that problem by making quick, quality care accessible for everyone. Thanks to technology, you can chat with your health care provider from the comfort of home via video chat.
Improved Quality of Care
By making it much easier for clinicians to access relevant patient information, RPM also improves the quality of the care you receive.
Instead of having to take the time to check your heart rate with a stethoscope or your blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer, your clinician can see this information by looking at a screen. This technology translates into quicker and less invasive care. And all you need to do to make this possible is for the care recipient to wear a smartwatch or another similar device.
RPM also empowers patients to take charge of their own health by providing them with an intuitive way to record their medical history, medications, symptoms, questions, and more. Most hospitals and clinics have their own apps that you can download and access on any device. These apps let you set up appointments, ask questions, or even fill in questionnaires about your health to make checkups go faster and smoother.
Peace of Mind
Another benefit of remote patient monitoring is that it offers peace of mind to those who live alone. RPM gives clinicians the ability to track their patient's vital stats and other pertinent information. If they notice anything unusual, they can contact you, a loved one, or even call an ambulance.
RPM in Long-Term Care
With increasing costs and greater demand for long-term health care services, RPM offers ways to provide quality care in all settings, combining better quality care and greater efficiency - thus reducing costs.
Long-term care residents get prescribed over an average of ten different medications. Care recipients typically have one or more chronic health conditions. As an individual's health, body, and mind decline, there are more challenges the health care providers face.
With health care professionals better able to monitor a care recipient's chronic conditions, they can better anticipate and identify exacerbations - thus avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and other complications.
More people will be able to receive simple custodial in-home care as RPM monitors medical-related vitals from afar. RPM also helps in assisted living facilities as the head nurse can monitor resident's vitals and quickly direct services to individuals as they need them.
For those people being taken care of by untrained family members, RPM can assist them in making their role easier and offering better quality care. In-home family members are often poor caregivers, but RPM can provide some professional monitoring and perhaps reduce the number of hours required for in-home professional caregivers.
Increasing Costs of Health Care
There is no doubt that all areas of health care see increasing costs. The increasing cost of health care is especially true in long-term care due to an aging population and more medical advances increasing lifespan - but the quality of the additional years is often challenging.
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows how these costs are expected to increase in the years ahead. While costs do vary depending on where you live, the financial impact on American families can be devastating. RPM and other advances in long-term health care may reduce some of the future increased costs, but no question - cost of long-term care will increase Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Long-term health care also places an ever-increasing burden on adult children. While RPM may help, too many families are unprepared for the future costs and burdens of aging and changing health.
Health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pays very little toward long-term health care services. Medicaid will only pay for Medicaid-approved providers and only when a person has little or no income or assets. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for care and related equipment, but you can only purchase coverage when you have fairly good health.
While more people are planning for long-term care as part of their retirement planning (usually in their 50s), many ignore the problem until a crisis occurs.
About the Author
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
Contributor since September 25th, 2020
Medical advances are happening all the time. While these advances help provide us with better overall health and life expectancy, it also creates challenges that we can't ignore.
We are living longer and longer, and with that longevity comes declining health. Our bodies start to break down, and our minds decline. Too many people are unaware that health insurance, including Medicare, won't pay for long-term health care.
This means people either self-fund their care, draining savings and reducing income and lifestyles, or their families become caregivers. Family caregivers face physical and emotional stress and anxiety.
Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to have guaranteed tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care, including at home. The best time to obtain coverage is when you are in your 40s or 50s.
Find a Specialist
Using a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will save you money and give you peace of mind. LTC Insurance products can be complicated, and premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. A specialist, who works with the top companies, can compare and shop, so you have the best coverage at the lowest cost.
There is no cost to the consumer to use a specialist. Planning for long-term care is not the job of a financial advisor or general insurance agent. Keep in mind that many agents or advisors may call themselves specialists but still lack the experience necessary to provide accurate quotes and professional recommendations.
Be sure the "specialist" works with the top companies, not just one or two. Ensure they understand all available options, including traditional (and Partnership certified plans), asset-based hybrid plans, and limited duration short-term plans.
Ask the agent or advisor how many clients they personally have helped with long-term care planning. If it is less than 300, they are not really a specialist. Top specialists have helped thousands of clients with long-term care planning.
How many claims have they processed? Do they fully understand the underwriting rules every company has in place? Can they give you accurate quotes right away - or do they have to have a back-office complete the task?
Find a trusted and experienced specialist - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Planning Tools Available on LTC NEWS
You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. There are also available tax incentives. See if these tax incentives are helpful - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
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LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
There are many people today that have much of their savings invested in their home. With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now.
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