Planning for home health care services
- Home Health Care (HHC) services are becoming increasingly important in Europe’s aging societies. Elderly people have varying degrees of need for assistance and medical treatment. It is advantageous to allow them to live in their own homes as long as possible, since a long-term stay in a nursing home can be much more costly for the social insurance system than a treatment at home providing assistance to the required level. Therefore, HHC services are a cost-effective and flexible instrument in the social system. In Germany, organizations providing HHC services are generally either larger charities with countrywide operations or small private companies offering services only in a city or a rural area. While the former have a hierarchical organizational structure and a large number of employees, the latter typically only have some ten to twenty nurses under contract. The relationship to the patients (“customers”) is often long-term and can last for several years. Therefore acquiring and keeping satisfied customers is crucial for HHC service providers and intensive competition among them is observed.