Home care provides health and related services for people in their own homes so that they can continue to live independently and avoid admission to acute care or long-term care facilities. Financial constraints related to hospitals and constraints on the growth of long term and chronic care facilities have led health care planners to look to home care services to provide better integrated care and a lower-cost alternative to hospital and residential care. However, there is very little Canadian information on whether home care is a cost-effective alternative to institutional care.
The overall goal of the project is to evaluate whether, and under what circumstances, home care is a cost-effective alternative to: 1) care in long term care facilities; and 2) care in acute care facilities (e.g., hospital). Costs both to the formal health care system and the costs to clients and their families, or other "informal" caregivers, will be taken into account. The evaluation will provide information about cost-effective methods for delivering home care services, including organizational and administrative considerations.
The project consists of 15 inter-related studies to be carried out across Canada by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers with expertise in the cost-effectiveness of home care.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of home care compared to residential long term care, six studies will be conducted. These studies will compare the costs (formal and informal) of clients treated in their homes to those treated in residential facilities, and will examine the factors contributing to decisions on what home care services are to be provided.
The remaining studies will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of home care as an alternative to acute care in institutions. Researchers will also examine the cost-effectiveness of specific services, such as home-based intravenous therapy, early discharge and home care for low birth-weight infants, day hospital and hospital based quick response teams.
The project will also link
to other relevant work, including other HTF-funded projects.
Funding under the HTF: $1,505,000