Ways to avoid costly hospital admissions
By Shannon Davis, CarePro Health Services, Linn County LIVING WELL Magazine
In the Midwest, the average length of a hospital stay is 4.3 days, costing patients an average of nearly $9,000. While hospital stays can be medically necessary, there are a number of things you and your loved ones can be doing today to help prevent racking up costly medical bills in the future.
1) Take care of yourself now – it will pay off in the future
While this first step sounds like an obvious one, over half of the American population is fighting obesity and nearly 26 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In many cases, obesity and type 2 diabetes are completely preventable when the right preventative health measures are taken.
Start today by making right choices. Allow yourself time in your day to take three 10-minute walks throughout the day. Studies have shown that 30 minutes of exercise a day will greatly reduce your chances of heart disease. Regular exercise will also help to lower blood sugar and burn fat. Add a high quality multivitamin to your daily regimen, to keep yourself from becoming nutritionally deficient. The average American diet does not provide enough of at least 10 different key nutrients and minerals. Years of nutrition deficiency may lead to higher risks of a slew of different health problems, including but not limited to osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and hormone imbalances.
2) Be consistent with your medications
Almost 30% of hospital admissions for people over the age of 65 are directly attributed to medication non-compliance. Many pharmacies will provide medication planning services, and can provide you or your loved ones with pre-packaged weekly medication planners. If you find that you have a hard time remembering to take your medication or that your parent or grandparent is forgetting, don’t wait until there’s a problem to set up them, or yourself, with a medication planning service.
3) If extra care is needed, consider taking extra measures to stay at home
The unfortunate reality is that lengthy hospital stays can make fragile patients even sicker. Bacteria, viruses, sometimes even virulent strains of drug-resistant infections can spread, making your loved ones’ hospital stay even longer.
The truth is, one of the best places to heal is in your own home, where you are most comfortable and relaxed and your environment and exposure to bacteria can be closely monitored and controlled. There are a number of ways to make this a possibility. Home health nursing is often covered by Medicare, as are in-home intravenous (IV) drug therapies such as chemotherapy, nutrition therapy, and antibiotic regimens.
Take steps to keep you and your loved ones at home. Consider preventive measures to keep your health optimal, and, when care is necessary, discuss options with your healthcare providers.
For more information, contact CarePro at 319-363-4554.