Home Healthcare, a $ 3 billion industry, growing from a critical need for professional touch

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 30, 2018 18:20 hrs

Mumbai resident Jatin works at an MNC in New Delhi. When his father back home suffered a fall, leading to a fractured hip, Jatin took leave from work to be by his side.

Then, on a friend’s recommendation, he turned to a home healthcare provider.

The experienced caregiver was a highly skilled medical professional and provided personalized care to his father, keeping Jatin informed of his progress.

Jatin was able to return to work knowing his father was in good hands.

Like Jatin, many young professionals are turning to home healthcare services to care for aging parents and grandparents.

The industry is still at a nascent stage, but evolving rapidly.

The Asian home healthcare market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2014 to 2020 owing to high unmet medical needs coupled with rapidly improving healthcare infrastructure in India and China.

The biggest growth driver of professional home care is the growing geriatric population in India, their condition may not be complicated enough to require recurrent hospitalization.

Home healthcare includes a range of services from physiotherapy to nursing, palliative and cancer care.

The care delivery model in India is shifting focus from hospitals and a doctor-centric approach to independent delivery models with self-diagnostics, self-monitoring and self-medication.

With the increasing use of technology and remote monitoring, home healthcare can positively impact management of chronic conditions.

Patient Experience:

As healthcare transitions from volume-based to value-based delivery models, the measure of a positive patient experience continues to be of greater importance to home healthcare providers. With consumers more involved in decisions affecting their care, a provider’s reputation as shaped by public sentiment is gaining more traction in current times.

It influences not only patient engagement, but can give healthcare providers an advantage in establishing partnerships with other providers creating a collaborative healthcare environment. A positive patient experience drives reputation as well as a patient’s willingness to recommend a facility and establish loyalty.

Holistic care models:

Healthcare has traditionally been delivered in silos, with multiple entities separately involved in the care of an individual.

For value-based home care to be successful, the industry will start to look at care from a holistic perspective, and facilitate communication across interdisciplinary care teams. This means investing more time and resources to improve the way caregivers communicate with not just members of their own immediate teams, but with all the providers delivering care to a patient. Providers are focusing on improving care quality and outcomes not only from a clinical perspective, but also from an emotional, spiritual, social and financial perspective.The goal is to improve the experience for the individual and leverage the potential for improved resource allocation and reduced costs.

Comprehensive Insurance:

Non-availability of comprehensive insurance coverage for home healthcare services is an area of concern.

Home healthcare services are not covered by health insurance companies. However, some organized players in the home healthcare sector are in discussions with insurance providers to initiate insurance as a value-added service for their clients, this is one trend that will take off soon.

Future of Home Healthcare:

The home healthcare industry in India is at approximately $3 billion, growing at a CAGR of 20%.

There is a critical need for professional health care in Tier 2 and Tier3 cities. With judicious use of technology, high-quality home healthcare services can be implemented and expanded to cover the masses. With improved affordability, need for a personalized care for chronic and lifestyle-based diseases and rise of nuclear families, home healthcare will continue to soar.

   Vipin Pathak is the CEO and CoFounder at Care24, a company that offers professional care from trained caregivers that help the patient recuperate at home.