Treatments that were previously done only in a hospital, such as intravenous therapy or certain antibiotic therapies, now can be done at home by nurses. This may be useful for some patients who require careful short-term monitoring-for example, elderly people with chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Advantages of home care: Greater comfort and less chance of infection. This type of care costs less than in-hospital care, but Medicare will pay for only a limited time, based on a doctor's orders.

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