Persons 65 and older account for almost 35% of hospital stays in the US. Consequently, hospital systems spend a great deal of time and money on the senior care market. Yet, many are missing an opportunity to reach the major influencers’ in senior health care — the family caregivers. The family caregiver market is huge, over 43 million strong. And, they are responsible for implementing many of the hospital discharge plans as well as selecting medical supplies and services to use.
Eighteen states have recently passed the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act. This legislation requires hospitals to identify, support and train family caregivers by:
• Recording the family caregiver’s name in the patient’s medical record
• Advising the family caregiver when the patient is being transferred or discharged
• Enabling family caregivers by providing education about the medical tasks he or she will perform when the patient returns home
Smart hospital administrators realize that this Act is not only an advantage for family caregivers. Many are beginning to understand that the CARE Act provides huge opportunities for brand positioning and marketing. As a result, administrators are going beyond simple responses like offering support groups and educational sessions for family caregivers. They are investing in market insights; integrating caregiver-friendly practices into readmission prevention policies and patient-centered care processes; maximizing community partnerships; as well as creating care pathways for family caregivers. They know that an informed and supported caregiver may impact readmission rates and serve as an evangelist promoting the hospital to others.
The CARE Act Readiness solutions offered by TKC Incorporated guide hospitals in complying with the CARE Act and leveraging the influence of family caregivers.