Home is the place where your heart is. The home is becoming a hub for healthcare.

Senior citizens prefer to receive their medical treatment at home. Census data shows that there has been a 67 percent increase in the number of parents who have moved into their home with their adult children between 2000-2007.

Over 8 million seniors and persons with disabilities have access to medical care at their homes. Patients can receive care at their own homes with equipment such as power wheelchairs, hospital beds, and oxygen therapy. As they look at healthcare reform options, Congress and the White House will both consider the benefits of homecare for taxpayers and patients.

Washington, D.C. is focused on reforming healthcare, particularly Medicare. Medicare provides insurance for approximately 43 million Americans over 65, as well as people with permanent disabilities. Over the next decade, Medicare’s spending is expected to rise by 7.5% annually. The Medicare Trust Fund will soon run dry, according to the Medicare trustees.

While Medicare spending is on the rise, home medical equipment and care remains below 2 percent. Homecare also holds costs down better than other healthcare segments. Two years of home oxygen therapy will cost less than the average Medicare bill for a single day at the hospital (which is over $5,500).

Home care is a service that provides senior citizens with assistance in their homes. Homecare providers are available to their clients during the weekends and after-hours so that they can keep their patients safe and away from emergency rooms. In times of crisis, such as hurricanes and ice storms, homecare providers can help seniors who are vulnerable.

As Congress and President work to solve the problem of rising healthcare costs and uninsured, home medical equipment will likely be one of the key solutions to sustaining Medicare and Medicaid.

Tyler J. Wilson is the president of American Association for Homecare. “Homecare will continue to be safe and cost-effective only as long as policy-makers in Washington remember that homecare requires a human touch, including services and personal attention.”

Visit this website for more information about homecare and the services it offers. www.aahomecare.org/athome.