- Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic are investing $100 million in a hospital-at-home company as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the push toward care settings outside a hospital's four walls.
- The investment is in Boston-based Medically Home, which has a virtual and physical delivery model allowing providers to shift acute care typically administered in a hospital to a patient's home. Its software platform, called Cesia Continuum, integrates communications and monitoring for care teams.
- The partnership will allow patients to be treated at home for infusions and conditions like cancer, infections and COVID-19, according to the companies' announcement Thursday.
The trend of moving more treatments away from inpatient settings has been ongoing for years, but was spurred by the pandemic as hospital beds were swiftly converted to create more ICU space in COVID-19 hotspots.
And families across the country have told stories of having to say goodbye to their loved ones through a tablet or phone as the coronavirus pushed hospitals to prohibit most visitors. One of the key advantages of at-home acute care for patients is the ability to be in familiar surroundings and with family while they receive treatment.
There are benefits for hospitals as well in providing care with less overhead when a patient is at home. As a result, health systems have steadily been investing in at-home acute care.
And acute care in the home builds on an overall shift in care settings to outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgical centers and virtual platforms. The biggest healthcare companies are shifting more resources to those areas, as are firms that haven't traditionally focused on the space, like Walmart and Amazon.
The partnership announced Thursday builds on existing models at Kaiser Permanente and Mayo, which rolled out its program with Medically Home in June at Northern California and Oregon locations.
Medically Homes, which estimates about 30% of hospitalized patients can use its care model, was founded in 2016 and has raised $65 million to date over three funding rounds. Its lead investor is Cardinal Health, according to Crunchbase. Other clients include Adventist Health and Promedica.
Intermountain launched its program to provide hospital-level care at home in June as well, using its value-based spinoff Castell. Other major systems, like Ascension and CommonSpirit Health, partner with Nashville-based Contessa, which was founded in 2014.