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The NSPA Blog

The Shifting Tide of Healthcare

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Posted on October 1st, 2014 by Teri Dreher, under Something New

There are many changes going on in the field of healthcare today, especially since the advent of the Affordable Care Act.

One of the most notable changes is that care is more often taking place outside of hospitals rather that inside them. Hospital corporations are merging to control costs and more efficiently use resources in a time that insurance and Medicare coverage is giving lower reimbursement to hospitals and physicians.

The sad truth is that many “Marcus Welby” type doctors are becoming extinct. They can no longer afford the costs of running an independent business. For the most part, doctors are not the best businessmen either. They went into the field to make a difference for people and the business of doing medicine has become so complicated that many are retiring early to get away from it.

One change that I have seen that is exciting and a very positive shift is that home based care is becoming more attractive. There are, in fact, so many non medical home based companies in the Chicago region that the average lay person has no idea how to compare their services and quality.

North Shore Patient Advocates has spent hundreds of hours over the past three years networking with and visiting these companies. Few are standing out above the crowd as being the “cream of the crop” when it comes to delivering highly competent, compassionate and reliable care.

I received a call yesterday from a man desperate for help after his CNA did not show up to help him with personal care. This elderly gentlemen is barely able to walk with a walker and he was so weak that I thought we should take him to the hospital for rehydration. He adamantly refused to go to the hospital, saying that if he went, he was afraid he would never come home again. This client is making the decision to stay at home for as long as humanly possible. He has that right. I was able to call a reliable home care company nearby that was able to arrive within 45 minutes and assess his needs. I will provide skilled nursing assessment and accompany him to his doctor’s office today for further evaluation. This man has no family in the state and needs a coordinated approach to his care rather than piecing it together with volunteers and unreliable companies who cannot promise consistent care.

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

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