Hospital systems are betting that the future of hospital care will be inside patients’ homes

May 26, 2021

Hospital-level care at home — some of it provided over the internet — is poised to grow after more than a decade as a niche offering, boosted both by hospitals eager to ease overcrowding during the pandemic and growing interest by insurers who want to slow healthcare spending, wrote Julie Appleby in a story posted by Kaiser Health News.

In the story, which also ran on Fortune, Apple says a host of challenges remain, from deciding how much to pay for such services to which kinds of patients can safely benefit. Under the model, patients with certain medical conditions, such as pneumonia or heart failure — even moderate COVID — are offered high-acuity care in their homes, with 24/7 remote monitoring and daily visits by medical providers.

In the latest sign that the idea is catching on, two big players — Kaiser Permanente and the Mayo Clinic — announced plans to collectively invest $100 million into Medically Home, a Boston-based company that provides such services to scale up and expand their programs. The two organizations estimate that 30% of patients currently admitted to hospitals nationally have conditions eligible for in-home care. (KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)

Several other well-known hospital systems launched programs last summer. They join about two dozen already offering the service, including Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Medicare gave the idea a boost in November when it agreed to pay for such care, to help keep non-COVID patients out of the hospital during the pandemic. Since then, more than 100 hospitals have been approved by Medicare to participate, although not all are in place yet.

Kaiser Health News has the story.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.