NewsLowcountry Health System Hopes to Pass Home Care Bill

Lowcountry Health System Hopes to Pass Home Care Bill

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – The prospect of continuing hospital care at home in South Carolina hangs in the balance as a new bill progresses through the State Legislature, with one Lowcountry hospital expressing its optimism for the potential change.

Senator Tom Davis, the driving force behind the bill (S.858), underscores that the COVID-19 Pandemic prompted the suspension of various healthcare regulations, including limitations on the provision of home-based care by hospitals.

“Covid was a comprehensive experimental process; it pushed the envelope on how we can innovate, questioning the necessity of certain rules and regulations. Can we provide more options?” Davis contemplates.

While hospital care at home remains permissible for now, Davis emphasizes the urgency to enact Bill S.858 into law before the suspended regulations are reinstated.

Troy Powell, the Regional President of Roper and Berkeley Hospitals, advocates for the Hospital at Home Program, primarily catering to patients with chronic conditions or those recuperating from surgery.

Under this program, a nurse or community paramedic conducts at least two daily visits to the patient’s home. The patient is continuously monitored using a “biosticker,” a patch collecting vital data such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation, which is transmitted to a central monitoring center.

Powell underscores the potential benefits of the bill, emphasizing improved patient outcomes by reducing infection risks, delirium, and falls.

“What the patients are reporting is much better. They’re much more comfortable being in their home, being able to eat their meals, not being woken up at all times of the night because we’re able to monitor it,” Powell highlights.

Tracy Marley, a recipient of hospital-at-home care after undergoing colon surgery at Roper, shares her positive experience, citing the comfort of sleeping in her own bed, undisturbed nights, and the ability to enjoy her own meals.

Senator Davis anticipates subcommittee hearings on the bill in the coming week, aiming to present it on the Senate floor within the next three weeks. Expressing optimism, he aims to secure passage before the legislative adjournment in May.

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