A recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatrics found that most homebound seniors who need homecare have not received medical care at home. The study goes on to say that the problem is so severe in rural areas that researchers dubbed it remarkable.
Nengliang Aaron Yao, a researcher at the University of Virginia Department of Public Health Sciences, led a team that found that more medical house call programs are needed.
The researchers looked at Medicare claims from 2011 to 2014 and found about 7% of Medicare patients are considered frail, and among those, less than 10% received home health care in 2011, and the majority of home-limited patients eligible for home care did not receive it between 2011 and 2014.
Other key findings included:
Only 2% to 4% of rural Medicare recipients received home-based medical care. Rural residents were 78% less likely to receive home-based care than people in urban areas
Men were 24% less likely to receive home-based care than women
Asian-Americans were 31% less likely to receive home-based care than whites, while African-Americans were 21% more likely to receive it than whites
The study offered several suggestions for fixing the problem, including:
Increased use of telemedicine for rural residents
More homecare providers
More targeted interventions and helping men overcome the stigmas against seeking help for their health problems