Hospital at Home program expanded opportunities, access to hospitals, research results

New research shows that Brigham and Women’s Hospital expanded hospital capacity and expanded access to care when service providers treated acute patients at home.

According to Brigham and Women’s study published Friday in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Home hospital patients dealing with infections or complications associated with heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma received daily home or remote visits from therapists, two daily home visits by trained nurses, and had access to a 24-hour doctor. coverage and remote monitoring facilities.

“We know that home hospital programs can provide high-quality patient care from the comfort of home,” Dr. David Levin, a Brigham physician and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “Our research shows that this model could also be effective during a pandemic to free up hospital beds during an outbreak by treating non-COVID patients at home.”

Although the study does not compare the results, the researchers cited previous analyzes who found that inpatient home care programs performed similarly in quality, safety and experience to traditional inpatient care. The length of stay for patients in the new study was five days, and 12.3% were re-admitted within 30 days.

The study says that inpatient home care is about 38% cheaper than traditional inpatient care and is much more efficient and cost effective than makeshift inpatient hospitals.

Physicians at Brigham Hospital and Women’s Hospital limited their analysis to two subjects, a small group of physicians and the conditions of the Boston pandemic.

The researchers wrote that after CMS expanded the temporary payment model in November 2020, more than 145 hospitals began home-based treatment.

For example, the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente recently invested $ 100 million in Medically Home, developing a national comprehensive home care plan.

“Home hospitals may represent a key response mechanism to a pandemic, but there is also strong evidence of their use in the absence of a pandemic — patients have good outcomes and they report excellent experiences with home health care,” Levin said.

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