The Benefits of Home Health Care for Pregnant Mothers

Posted by admin | July 27, 2017 , (0) comments

 

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In previous decades, home health care has been offered almost exclusively for the elderly and the disabled. Although these two populations continue to be the most common patients, home health services are now being expanded to meet the needs of many other patient populations. As a result, more home health agencies are cropping up, and some brick-and-mortar physicians’ offices are now offering home health services to treat a wider range of patients.

For instance, some agencies are now offering home health care specifically for pregnant mothers. A pregnant mothers may not be home-bound, but that does not mean it is easy for her to make a trip to a physician’s office. Work and family obligations can get in the way, and low-income mothers may struggle with transportation. As a result, more and more women are receiving care only in the third trimester of their pregnancy. In the worst cases, a pregnant mother may see a doctor for the first time in the emergency room when she goes into labor.

New Study on Home Health Visits for Pregnant Mothers

A study published in July 2017 by a Nobel-winning economist at the University of Chicago has demonstrated that home-visits from nurses can improve health outcomes for first-time mothers and their children. The nurses provided basic medical care from the time when the woman became pregnant until the child turned 2 years old. The nurses also offered counseling about labor and parenting.

In the short-term, the study showed that the pregnant mothers had better prenatal and mental health.To assess the efficacy of the program over the long-term, the researchers followed the children until they turned 12, and they found that they had better problem-solving, social, and emotional skills. The benefits were especially evident in boys.

The Future of Home Health Care for Pregnant Women

This recently released study is one among many examples of rigorous research indicating that home health care can have benefits for a wide range of patient populations — not just the elderly and the disabled. As more people become aware of the advantages of this method of care, the demand for home health services will continue to grow.

It is important to note that offering home health care services comes along with particular medical coding and billing challenges. Home health care providers need to stay on top of OASIS forms and understand how things like seventh-character coding and optional diagnosis items work.

To manage these challenges as demand for home health services grows, it can be helpful to outsource your medical billing needs to experts. AnnexMed offers comprehensive medical billing services for home health care providers. Contact us today for more information about what we can do for your agency!

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