There’s no single good reason why home healthcare isn’t flourishing in the United States. It’s well known that the population segment over 65 is, well, growing. It also doesn’t come as a surprise that most people in this demographic cherish their independence. Home healthcare technology could prevent or delay them from going to expensive institutions such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. And, of course, keeping people out of expensive institutions such as those (or hospitals) could be a good way to cut healthcare costs.

September 10, 2011

1 Min Read
What Is Holding Home Healthcare Back?

There’s no single good reason why home healthcare isn’t flourishing in the United States. It’s well known that the population segment over 65 is, well, growing. It also doesn’t come as a surprise that most people in this demographic cherish their independence. Home healthcare technology could prevent or delay them from going to expensive institutions such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. And, of course, keeping people out of expensive institutions such as nursing homes or hospitals could be a good way to cut healthcare costs. So, it's clear that untapped potential exists in this area. 

But, according to a recent report from the McKinnsey Quarterly, the market segment for home healthcare products is growing at about 9% annually, now making up only aboutt 3% of U.S. healthcare spending.

 

As for why home healthcare isn’t growing faster, the aforementioned publication explains:

 

We observe a daunting array of financial and operational barriers, including the misalignment of incentives between payers and providers, the need to demonstrate a strong clinical value proposition, and the problem of designing attractive, easy-to-use products that facilitate adoption by patients.

 

They go on to add that:

 

It will move ahead, however, only if stakeholders develop more equitable reimbursement models that create greater incentives to participate in the technology-enabled home health market. In addition, medical-device makers must focus on technologies that are easier to use, have a real impact on patients’ conditions, and make it possible to measure results.

The full report is available online after registering.

Brian Buntz

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