Gundersen L.; There's No Place Like Home: The Home Health Care Alternative. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:639-640. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-8-199910190-00103
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(8):639-640.
As managed care attempts to deal with increasing medical costs, home care has emerged as a popular alternative for patient treatment. Because home care (which is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. health care structure) often substitutes for inpatient treatment, some view it as a cost-cutting method that is good for the short term but may be more expensive over time. Home health care is a “hot trend,” according to the Trends Research Institute, Rhinebeck, New York, and a closer look at its efficacy and long-term cost-effectiveness is therefore essential.
For thousands of years, family members cared for the sick and injured at home. A more formal approach to home health care emerged when the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), an organization of nurses who donated their services to homebound and often quarantined patients, was founded in the latter part of the 19th century. Although the VNA was effective, advances in technology gradually made care in an institutional setting more economical. Home care continued to diminish with the boom of employer-paid health benefits during World War II. Finally, the idea of the house call and home care became archaic.
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Geriatric Medicine, Hospital Medicine.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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