Health Care is a Bright Light in a Dim Economy For Investors

Health care has always been a safe stock in the face of disaster. No matter how bad the economy is, people still get ill, thus they need medical care before anything else. Health care stocks are holding up better than the rest of the market. Up to January 25, the Morningstar health care sector is down less than 4%, of ten wide market sectors, thus making it the top dog. There are companies that recognize this trend and are pushing ahead.

Healthcare of Today Inc has been continuing its plan for the acquisitions of healthcare companies despite climbing fears in other sectors of the economy. Now with a new president and new hopes in country, there calculated risk may have been perfectly timed.

In a statement from the CEO (Henry Jan) he said, “We are aware the financial markets have hit hard times, but we remain committed to our company goals, while staying on top of what has happened elsewhere.” We are very excited about our success as we know our business plan is a good one, this allows us independence from the uneasy banking systems. All signs point to continued growth for the healthcare sector, and we’re going to continue to take advantage of our solid position with regard to health care projections. We need to continue forward, now more than ever

While people are losing there jobs across the country in a variety of industries, the Health Care job market has not been suffering the same fate. Jan says “the sectors of healthcare that we have handpicked to work with need us as much as we need them; Nursing schools and nursing services couldn’t be better-timed with regards to the nursing shortage that exists, as it regretfully continues to burden health in our country.”

Healthcare of Today is a holding company intent on acquiring companies within the healthcare industry. Through its subsidiaries, Healthcare of Today is vertically-integrating a variety of businesses including: pharmaceuticals, residential care facilities for the elderly, home healthcare services, adult daycare, a private chef network, nurse job placement, nurse education, insurance, home care services, real estate brokerage/relocation services and in healthcare information technology.

Every now and then, a company that’s enjoying good earnings growth and an upward-trending stock price will get knocked from its high horse. Sometimes, the fall is sudden. Other times, it occurs gradually. But it still happens, even in Health Care. What is making Healthcare of today so successful is its focus within the sector. Therefore an investor can just say Health Care of not Healthcare; they should do a bit more research on what is being done within healthcare.

For example Nutritional-supplements maker NBTY had great expectations due to the reported monthly sales results and preliminary quarterly results, thus requiring Wall Street to drop its expectations for the company’s revenue increases; the stock had taken a hit since the spring. But recently, NBTY revenue rose a healthy but unimpressive 6%. These trends are good for shareholders. NBTY event though it took a hit and does not show the same prospect as Health Care of today inc, it is headed in a positive direction, and expectations now stand at more reasonable levels than back in the spring.

So there it is, it is not all doom and gloom these days, Health Care is a strong beacon of light in what has been a dim economy. In times like these Luxury items tend to drop first, however Health Care is no luxury item.

Home Health Care History

The early nineteenth century witnessed the initial stages of the home health care industry that offered qualified nurses to take care of the poor and sick in their homes. In 1909 when Metropolitan Life Insurance Company started to write policies that comprised of home health care, this industry became very popular. This company is credited for paying the first compensation for home health care industry. This gave rise to the birth of organized home health care.

The Great Depression in 1929 caused several businesses along with home care industry a lot of hindrances and struggle. This went on till the follow-up visits made by nurses after hospital discharge became reimbursable by the Medicare Act of 1966. The home care industry became most feasible and practical when Medicare in an attempt to reduce hospitalization costs set up DRG’s program (Diagnostic Related Group). This laid down that some disease or hospital practice needed a certain stay period. So the discharged patients were more sick compared to their DRG counterparts.

The story does not finish with DRGs. This in fact was the commencement of patient care vs. medical ethics debate. This subject shall be soon addressed in the present health care reform segment. The price of health care is the issue. Questions like how much does a human life cost and how long one should pay for keeping alive a person after he ceases to be a contributor to the society need to be addressed.

Home health care industry needs to answer these questions. The main intention of the DRG programs was to cut down the hospital stay in order to lower hospitalization costs. Thus this becomes a challenge to the agencies. But gradually home care started becoming expensive. The Balanced Budge Act of 1997 hand one major side effect. It limited the benefit days to the patients under home health care thereby lowering the compensations to the various home health care agencies. This resulted in many of these agencies going out of business.

The price to take care of a patient will always stay an issue. There was a growth of nosocomial diseases in hospitals that lead to heavy health care costs. Patients started getting discharged in a much sicker condition than before. This put additional burden on the family of the patient to make available good care once the family member is home. Also majority of the people were working. Home health care agencies that provide services were unable to discharge patients when they exceed their Medicare days if they are in a bad condition or its not safe to depart from them without any nursing services.

In case the home care agency declines admission of a patient who seems sicker than the number of reimbursement days allowed by the government, the patients’ family does not have too many choices. In case of the patient being discharged without any adequate follow-up care, the patients’ family can seek services of a qualified agency that could strain on emergency room visits and re-hospitalization leading to more compensation issues. Such questions are difficult to answer more so in cases where cost is to be taken care of. But, as time passes, such questions will continue to haunt till there are satisfactory answers to them.