Reducing Your Risks by Recovering at Home
Transitioning from hospital to home can be challenging, especially during a health crisis. Use these tips to help you stay at home and out of the hospital.
There’s a lot of uncertainty and change right now because of the coronavirus spread. With hospitals seeing increasing numbers of patients due to COVID-19, it's more important than ever that you stay home and stay safe.
This is especially true if you've recently been in the hospital. While follow-up care may require you to go back, it’s common for patients to be readmitted to the hospital because they are scared, don’t understand the directions their doctors gave them, or don’t understand their new medications.
According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about one in eight Medicare patients had to be readmitted to the hospital within a month after undergoing surgery. For Medicare patients receiving non-surgical medical care at the hospital, one in six was readmitted within 30 days.
To avoid this—and any potential threat of infection from the coronavirus—use these tips to make sure you have a smooth recovery at home.
- Ask questions before you leave the hospital. If you don’t understand what doctors and nurses are telling you, keep asking questions. It’s important you understand any directions your health care team is giving you before you leave the hospital.
- Make an appointment with your doctor. Seeing your primary care doctor within the first week after you’re released from the hospital greatly reduces the chances you will have to go back. Your doctor can answer any questions you have and make sure your recovery is on track. And if you want to avoid crowded doctors’ offices and possibly other sick patients, you may be able to see your doctor virtually without leaving your home.
- Whether you’re going to the doctor’s office or staying home, make sure to write down your appointment date and time and put it somewhere you won’t forget.
- Jot down any concerns you have and any questions you want to ask your doctor so they are hand when you need them.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. When you see your doctor—either in person or virtually—have your medications with you or handy, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines you have been taking for a while and those you started taking at the hospital. It’s important for your doctor to know everything you are taking because medications you started taking at the hospital may interact with your regular medications.
- Get support from friends and family. Have a friend or loved one support you during your appointment. While they may not be able to be physically present during this time, you can use virtual technology like FaceTime or a speakerphone to ensure they are hearing what you’re hearing and can help ask questions or keep track of important information if needed.
- If you need help making an appointment or have questions about your benefits or COVID-19 testing or treatment, we are here for you. Just give us a call at 1-800-926-6565 (TTY: 1-800-955-8779). You can also visit our dedicated COVID-19 website for information.
Y0011_101299_C 0420 C: 04/2020
Filed under: Medicare