Why Discharged Hospital Patients Should Consider Home Health Care?

As a home health care company owner, I often look at over the counter supplies at my local pharmacy. To my surprise, my local independent pharmacy stocked hydrocolloid and alginate dressings. Hydrocollid Dressings and Calcium Alginate Dressings are newer advanced dressings that replace the gauze and iodine that are normally used to treat wounds.

They use the theory of "moist healing", and try to protect healthy cells that can be used to heal the wound itself from being destroyed. Hydrocolloid dressings and calcium alginates are more expensive that gauze and iodine, however they can speed up the healing process, and do not need to be changed as frequently as gauze. The cost of these advanced wound and pressure ulcer dressings were extremely marked up. I expect that most people who purchase these types of dressings on their own have Medicare or some type of private insurance. Even paying just the 15-20% co-pay, the cost of these dressings alone could run $100+ for full healing, and that doesn't even factor in the sterile saline, sterile gloves, possible debridement, and other costs.

If someone is discharged from the hospital and are considered homebound, and have severe wounds, they would likely qualify for home health care. Home health can send a skilled nurse to the home to perform or teach the patient or caregiver how to properly manage wounds, and most importantly, the supplies that I previously mentioned (dressings, sterile supplies) would all be part of the home health services. Also if eligible for home health, the services are covered under Medicare part "A" which would not have a co-payment or deductible.


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