Papalia and Olds (1995) state that home health care becomes of real concern to older people when they reach 85 years and beyond. At this point, the authors state, about one half of the population is going to have some illness or disease or injury that is going to seriously debilitate them, requiring some type of institutionalization or extensive home health care services.
Regarding the costs of these services, Freedman and Reschovsky (1997) report that approximately 25 billion dollars per year is currently being paid for home health care services with approximately two-thirds of these patients using medicare as their primary payment source. Moreover, it is noted that national studies have shown that medicare and privately insured patients spend substantially more for home health care than do other patient groups.
The typical home health services received by older people, according to Skipwith (1994) includes personal hygiene tasks, the measurement of vital signs, and various technical tasks. Usually, this care is provided by a professional nurse, a home health aide working under the direction of a professional nurse, or both.
Research on the Effects of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997
The issue which is selected for analysis is the policy response of home health care agencies to the effects the Balanced Budge