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Is Your Living Room the Future of Hospital Care?

May 24, 2021 / By Julie Appleby

Major hospital systems are betting big money that the future of hospital care looks a lot like the inside of patients’ homes.

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 health care spending. But 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 this month 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.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as President and CEO of Surgio Health. Chris has close to 20 years of healthcare management experience, with an infinity to improve healthcare delivery through the development and implementation of innovative solutions that result in improved efficiencies, reduction of unnecessary financial & clinical variation, and help achieve better patient outcomes. Previously, Chris was assistant vice president and business unit leader for HPG/HCA. He has presented at numerous healthcare forums on topics that include disruptive innovation, physician engagement, shifting reimbursement models, cost per clinical episode and the future of supply chain delivery.

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