Demand versus Supply

Topics: Nursing home, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Home care Pages: 6 (1095 words) Published: May 7, 2015


Demand versus Supply
Rodderica Coleman
HCS/552
May 04, 2015
Amy Shoales

Demand versus Supply: Home Health Care
Supply and demand play an underlying role in economics. According to Getzen (2013), the choices made by buyers constitute demand, whereas the choices made by sellers constitute supply. Most people are active on both sides, exchanging money for goods and services as demanders and exchanging labor and other assets for money as suppliers (Chapter 2). In the health care sector, consumer demand of medical services or products greatly affect the cost, the access to the service or product, and the quantity supplied to the consumer. Home health care is a service that has been on the minds of consumers and rising in popularity in the United States today. Overview of Home Health Care

“Home care is care that allows a person with special needs to stay in their home. It might be for people who are getting older, are chronically ill, recovering from surgery, or disabled” (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014). Personal care, such as help with bathing, washing your hair, homemaking (cleaning, yard work, and laundry), cooking or delivering meals, and health care, such as having a home health aide come to your home are just some of the examples of the care that the health care worker provides. Home health care services are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to hospital and rehabilitation facilities stay. As more individuals are living longer due to medical advances the risk is increased of having long term illnesses that will require help to stay in their own homes. It has become especially pertinent in cases of those patients whose primary health coverage is through Medicare. The cost to receive intermittent care in a skilled nursing facility or long term care facility can be much higher than that of at-home care. After the initial period of coverage runs out at a long term care facility, Medicare will no longer pay for the stay. If a physician order is in place that requires skilled nursing care coupled with home care services, then Medicare will pay for home health nurses and aides to come in and provide treatment. In a lot of cases, physicians may order more care than Medicare will cover and then the patient must pay either through supplemental insurance or out of pocket. This is still a cheaper alternative than staying at a facility. Home Health Care and the Laws of Economics

The need for more coverage of home health care starts with the basics of economics, supply and demand. According to an article by Heakal (2015), demand refers to how much (quantity) of a product or service is desired by buyers. The quantity demanded is the amount of a product people are willing to buy at a certain price; the relationship between price and quantity demanded is known as the demand relationship. Supply represents how much the market can offer. The quantity supplied refers to the amount of a certain good producers are willing to supply when receiving a certain price. The correlation between price and how much of a good or service is supplied to the market is known as the supply relationship. Price, therefore, is a reflection of supply and demand. “Some 7.6 million individuals currently receive care at home because of acute illnesses, long-term health conditions, permanent disability or terminal illness. By comparison, there are just over 1.8 million individuals in nursing homes” (American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, 2015). As more individuals are gearing towards home health care, more government programs and private insurance companies are making this resource more available and affordable for consumers. Some government programs, such as Medicare, authorize certain services and enable patients to receive the necessary treatment and aide. There is also the option of long term care insurance that can be purchased through private insurers to cover the costs....

References: American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. (2015). The Ability To Remain In Your
Own Home Is One Of The Greatest Benefits Of Owning Long-Term Care Insurance
Heakal, R. (2015). Economic Basics: Supply and Demand. Retrieved from
http://www.investopedia.com/university/economics/economics3.asp
U.S National Library of Medicine. 2014. Home Care Services. Retrieved from
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/homecareservices.html
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