Home health care concept Insurers are increasingly paying for home health services as they see its cost-effectiveness in improving patient health, and reducing emergency room trips and hospital readmissions. (Graphic by Chris Nicholls)

The patient lived way back in the hills to the west of Portland, OR. The primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, wound around the back roads, nosed her car up the shrub-lined drive to the low-slung home, and parked. With medical black bag in hand, she was invited in by the patient's niece for his regular check-up.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.