What is home care?
Home care is a form of full-time hospitalization where care is provided at the person’s home. It is one of the answers to the population’s growing aspiration to be treated in a familiar environment when the situation permits, whatever its geographical location.
Beneficiaries and funding
Patients undergoing home care have most often been prescribed this service by a medical practitioner subsequent to a period of hospitalization in an actual hospital.
Home care may also be requested by the family physician of a patient whose health is worsening in such a way as to justify hospitalization, but whose wish is to stay at home.
Home care is a service that is entirely funded by the public healthcare system in France. Home care providers receive funding from public health insurance funds (and sometimes also from private funds), in the form of a flat rate payed for each day of care supplied to each of their patients. These payments are established according to the intensity of the care delivered, the degree of dependence of the patient and the length of stay.
All acts, services and therapeutics are included in this funding.
Home care statistics
Home care statistics (2014) and the objectives of the Ministry of Health:
- 309 authorized structures in activity
- 106,000 people cared for
- 162,000 visits
- 4.4 million days
- € 944 million invoiced to the Healthcare System
The objectives of the French Ministry of Health / Plan HAD 2015-2018: double the home care activity by 2018.
The technical constraints of home care
Home care must take into account the constraints imposed by changing a place of residence into a place of care. The same quality and safety requirements that are applicable in any healthcare establishment must be put into place, making it very demanding. The complexity, intensity, technicality and continuity of the care that it implements, as well as the coordinated and medical pluridisciplinary team that it mobilizes, distinguishes home care from the interventions performed at home by the ambulatory and medico-social sectors.
Telemedecine and home care
In this context of remote medical care, new information and communication technologies can be used in several ways. They can be classified into three categories.
Remote monitoring allows medical staff (in particular hospital staff) to maintain a link in real time with a patient’s technical parameters, avoiding the need for travel.
Remote consultation allows specialists to conduct remote consultations with the help of a colleague located alongside the patient.
Teletransmission of medical data
Teletransmission allows remote medical follow-up of a patient by a physician through the transmission of the patient’s main clinical data.