What are Medical Respite Programs?
What are Medical Respite Programs?January 26, 2021 0 Comment Category: Respite Care
It is seen that homeless people visit hospitals at higher rates for varied health care needs than others do. They also have longer stays at hospitals when compared to housed individuals. Yet as they lack housing options, discharge planners at hospitals often find it challenging to find safe and appropriate places for such patients to rest, recover, and receive follow-up services after their stay at the health care unit for acute care.
Medical respite care programs are designed to solve this problem by providing a better setting for continuing optimal health care. A medical respite care provider also aims to deliver a more comprehensive case management and care transition planning to homeless individuals. At the same time, finding permanent housing solutions remains the key goal of medical respite care programs so that the patient can recover well and find a place in the community.
Although the term “respite care” refers to providing support to the primary caregiver, “medical respite care” denotes short-term residential care services provided to patients who are homeless so that they can recuperate in a safe environment. Medical respite programs also ensure that homeless patients have access to medical care and other support services like care coordination, case management, medication management, and connections to behavioral health care.
Goals of Medical Respite Care
Medical respite care aims to help with acute and post-acute health care for homeless people who are too ill or weak to recuperate in a shelter or on the street, but do not need hospital-level care for their condition. In that, medical respite program differs vastly from nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, assisted living communities, and supportive housing programs. Medical respite care can have varying approaches and be located in several different settings, such as motels, transitional housing programs, apartments, or stand-alone facilities.
Generally, a medical respite care provider will have anywhere from 5 – 35 beds in a safe and comfortable setting, with both clinical and non-clinical staff to attend to the needs of homeless individuals. The duration of stays can vary from patient to patient, which can go from several weeks to a couple of months. Likewise, the admission criteria can also differ between different medical respite providers. Yet most medical respite care programs require the patient to be able to perform day-to-day activities and have a condition that can be resolved in a short period.
In a nutshell, medical respite care aims to shorten hospital stays, reduce the likelihood of readmissions, improve the outcomes, make the transition back to a healthy lifestyle easier, and lower the costs. Medical respite care programs are dedicated to helping people who are homeless and have very limited resources. That is why they collaborate with Medicaid and Managed Care Organizations to achieve more sustainable funding and improve their quality of care services.