More providers looking into home care programs
- As providers look for ways to boost quality while reducing costs under value-based reimbursement, many see home-based care as one solution.
- On Tuesday, the Home Centered Care Institute launched the HCCI Centers of Excellence for Home-Based Primary Care to bring high-quality primary care to more Americans. Participants include Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai.
- Meanwhile, Mount Sinai Health System is teaming up with Contessa Health to expand Mount Sinai’s hospital-level care at home program, Mobile Acute Care Team (MACT), to new markets.
Under the HCCI initiative, participating institutions will train clinicians and practice managers using a home-based primary care curriculum developed by a cadre of nationally recognized thought leaders. The curriculum covers foundational principles, economics, operations and clinical care. The goal is to increase the home-based primary care workforce by 5,000 over the next five years.
Centers of excellence and house call programs that participate in the training will be asked to contribute to a data registry of best clinical and operational practices compiled by HCCI.
HCCI has identified eight COEs for the program:
- Cleveland Clinic;
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai;
- MedStar Health’s Medical House Call Program;
- Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine;
- Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania;
- University of Arizona Center on Aging;
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; ans
- University of California, San Francisco.
By partnering with Contessa, Mount Sinai plans to extend its MACT program — currently limited to Medicare patients with specific acute medical conditions who would otherwise require inpatient care — to patients with other forms of health coverage and additional conditions. The health system is also looking at adding a postsurgical care at home option.
MACT has treated 600 patients since the program launched in November 2014.
The interest in home-based care comes as new technologies, from remote sensors and monitors to connected scales and blood pressure cuffs and telemedicine are allowing the elderly and others with chronic conditions to remain in their homes.
For example, New York-based Hometeam leverages a mobile care management technology platform to bring trained professional caregivers to seniors and other needing home care. The platform automates scheduling, caregiver/client matching, billing and payroll. “Our overhead is 80% lower than the rest of the industry, and we invest the savings in higher salaries for our caregivers,” Ashish Prashar, director of policy at Hometeam, told Healthcare Dive earlier this year.
Hospitals are also using palliative care teams to reduce avoidable costs and rationalize end-of-life care so that patients get only the care they want and need. Through a comprehensive assessment, teams can determine an appropriate care plan and align it with the patient’s and family’s needs. Such teams also do home assessments ensure continued treatment after the patient leaves the hospital.