The demand for rehabilitation services is on the rise across Australia. With an ageing population, joint replacement procedures are becoming common and most private patients could save themselves or their insurers several thousand dollars.1 So it’s no surprise that experts are looking for ways to minimise the overall cost of these procedures – without compromising patient wellbeing.
It’s often assumed that hospital-based rehabilitation programs help patients recover faster from procedures like knee replacements. You might be surprised to learn that home-based rehabilitation is equal or superior to hospital-based rehabilitation in almost all respects.2
In fact, even when people live alone, the overwhelming majority will recover equally well and may experience fewer complications if they receive rehabilitation in their own home, rather than spend days or weeks in a hospital facility, at a significantly higher cost.3
A direct comparison of the costs of inpatient versus home-based rehabilitation was published recently from Sydney.1 The study compared a program of 10 days hospital rehabilitation followed by an 8-week home-based program with a monitored home-based rehabilitation program alone. To make the comparison, participants’ mobility, function and quality of life were measured after knee replacement surgery.
According to the findings, inpatient rehab was no more effective than home-based rehabilitation at improving mobility or functional outcomes 26 weeks after surgery. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that people receiving home-based rehabilitation not only recover just as fast, but are less likely to experience complications like infections and blood clots.
Remedy Healthcare has been delivering the clinically proven Rehabilitation at Home (RAH) program Australia-wide since 2008. Patients receive a tailored treatment program, based on their functional abilities and individual goals. Regular treatments are provided by a coordinated multidisciplinary team, all in the comfort and privacy of their own home.
Regular feedback obtained by patients and family members over the course of 10 years has revealed that, for the majority of patients that experienced the program have reported that they were very happy to return home quickly and get back to normal life. They also said that being less reliant on medical care helped them feel more confident in managing their condition. Family members also reported feeling much happier because they no longer needed to organise frequent travel for their loved ones to receive treatment.
The Rehabilitation at Home program is provided extensively to patients who require rehabilitation following hip or knee joint replacement though it is also clinically effective and cost effective for many other orthopaedic conditions, cardiac rehabilitation, COPD, accidents and falls injuries.
After surgery and the with their treating Surgeons approval, care coordinators and clinicians from Remedy Healthcare work closely with individuals to achieve their defined rehabilitation goals. Clinical outcomes are assessed using validated measures and satisfaction surveys.
A study conducted by Stolee et al., 2014 shows that home rehabilitation is equal or superior to hospital-based rehabilitation when it comes to patient satisfaction.
With more healthcare providers and insurers seeking new and more cost-effective models of service delivery, the future of healthcare is changing. Rehabilitation at home is clearly a viable alternative to in-patient services and offers a promising route to less costly care. And with the ever-increasing pressures on our healthcare system, that can only be a good thing.
Please call 1300 224 334 to arrange a time to catch up to discuss how Remedy Healthcare may be able to partner with you to compliment your health and wellbeing initiatives.
1. Naylor, J. (2018). Most private patients are wasting money on costly rehab after major knee surgery. [online] The Conversation. Available at: http://theconversation.com/most-private-patients-are-wasting-money-on-costly-rehab-after-major-knee-surgery-83958 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].
2. Buhagiar MA, Naylor JM, Harris IA, et al. Effect of inpatient rehabilitation v.s a monitored home-based program on mobility in patients with total knee arthroplasty: The HIHO randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2017;317(10):1037–1046. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.1224
3. Fleischman, A., Austin, M., Purtill, J., Parvizi, J. and Hozack, W. (2018). Patients Living Alone Can Be Safely Discharged Directly Home After Total Joint Arthroplasty. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 100(2), pp.99-106.
4. Stolee, P., Lim, S., Wilson, L. and Glenny, C. (2011). Inpatient versus home-based rehabilitation for older adults with musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review. Clinical Rehabilitation, 26(5), pp.387-402.