California Finds Teaching In-Home Caregiving Model Beneficial

Topics: HCBS, HCBS Rule, State News, Supporting Families,

California initiated a pilot program, training individuals providing in-home supports in CPR and first aid, as well infection control, medications, chronic diseases and other areas. All were workers of the In-Home Supportive Services program, who are paid by the state to care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, many of them relatives. California’s In-Home Supportive Services program pays caregivers to help about half a million elderly and disabled people stay in their homes rather than be placed in institutions. To qualify for the care, seniors must be eligible for Medi-Cal, be 65 or older, and be blind or disabled.

According to the news article, the goal of the pilot program was to determine whether educating IHSS caregivers and integrating them into the medical team would improve the health of their patients.  The study compared insurance claims on 136 at-risk elderly and disabled residents whose caregivers were trained with the claims from more than 2,000 similar residents whose caregivers did not receive the training.  The rate of repeated emergency room visits declined by 24 percent, on average, in the first year after caregivers were trained and 41 percent in the second year, according to the UCSF analysis.