Next Things First

More on Caregivers by Rob Coppedge
September 18, 2008, 6:59 pm
Filed under: caregivers | Tags:

This move by CMS has reminded me of a recent conversation with a nurse in Denver who suggest that it would be extremely interesting to adjust the national expenditures on health care delivery for the economic cost of these caregivers. In many cases, these people are leaving the workforce and incurring many other expenses to care for their loved ones.

The role of part and full-time family caregivers is only going to increase as care shifts out of higher cost health care facilities and into the home. As the population of baby boomers wrecks havoc on the health care delivery and finance systems, we need to support this group of informal medical extenders, record keepers and social workers with tax advantages and innovative businesses that makes their jobs easier.

As we get a better handle on the size of this market, I believe the traditional accounting of health care costs will have to be adjusted up significantly.


Medicare for “Dummies” by Rob Coppedge
September 18, 2008, 6:25 pm
Filed under: caregivers, health it, medicaid/medicare | Tags: , ,

Modern Healthcare reports today that CMS is taking very positive steps to reach out to the large community of caregivers (link here).

“A lot of people who are on Medicare need to know how to use the Medicare program better, but they’re being taken care of by somebody,” Weems said. “We need to talk to the 51-year-old soccer mom who has a 15-year-old kid and a 70-year-old mother and she’s trying to figure out Medicare.”

If executed well, this is an important step. More importantly, it highlights the significant and under appreciated needs of the caregiver community.

As the the implementation of information technologies across the system fail to keep up with the need to coordinate complex care, the roles of these caregivers – many with very little formal health care experience (but loads of experience with the system’s administrative inefficiencies and lack of centralized clinical records) – become even more important.

Companies targeting this community – with tools to save time, better manage information, better navigate the health care system and to gain more understanding about their loved ones’ conditions – will find a largely untapped market opportunity.

For once, CMS is getting out ahead of the market.