AHN Home Recovery Care expands to provide hospitalized patients with alternative to skilled nursing and rehab facilities after discharge

The advanced Home Recovery Care Plus model allows patients to receive skilled nursing or rehabilitation care in the comfort of their home

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today an expansion of its Home Recovery Care (HRC) program that’s currently available to eligible patients at AHN Allegheny General, AHN Forbes, and AHN Jefferson Hospitals. The new model, called Home Recovery Care Plus (HRCP), delivers all the essential elements of skilled nursing facility and rehabilitation facility-level care in the comfort of a patient’s home, with a registered nurse providing monitoring care for up to 60 days following a hospital admission.

In November 2019, Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network announced a partnership with Contessa to launch a home-based acute care model for Highmark health plan members. The initial joint venture, Home Recovery Care LLC, provides all essential elements of inpatient care in the home through telemedicine, in-home providers, and robust care management oversight. This is made possible utilizing Contessa’s proprietary technology specifically designed to coordinate home-based hospital care. Home Recovery Care was first offered to patients at AHN’s Allegheny General Hospital, and then expanded to AHN Forbes and AHN Jefferson Hospitals in 2020.

The expanded model, HRCP, allows patients recovering from an illness or surgery who need additional medical care, physical or occupational therapy to receive that care at home instead of a skilled nursing or rehab facility. Examples of rehabilitation services include infusion, wound care, and physical/occupational therapy. As with the original program, patients utilize remote monitoring devices, and engage with a Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC) who ensures the delivery of care, managed by physicians in the AHN Division of Geriatrics, and participate in telehealth visits with their providers.

The new HRCP model also extends an additional 30 days beyond the original program. A registered nurse, physical therapist and/or occupational therapist works with the patient in their home for the first 1-3 weeks while developing a personalized, physician-directed care plan with the patient’s care team. The patient’s Recovery Care Coordinator then continues to monitor the patient’s vitals, coordinating their care, and providing health education through the end of the 60-day mark.

“The expanded options with Home Recovery Care Plus are a welcomed addition to the variety of treatment and recovery options we offer at Allegheny Health Network,” shared Christina Weir Ripley, Highmark Health, vice president of enterprise clinical transformation. “The last year of the pandemic has presented many challenges for seniors in communal living. By enhancing a program that utilizes the latest technology, medicine, and care management models, we’re further lowering the risk of exposure to illnesses like COVID-19 infections while also improving patient outcomes and experience overall.”

In addition to lower infection risks, the benefits of HRCP include improvements in clinical outcomes, enhanced patient and provider experience, a reduction in the number of care transitions, and a stronger interdisciplinary approach inpatient care.

Contessa’s data for the Home Recovery Care model demonstrates improved patient satisfaction and a reduction in both the mean length of stay and readmission rates. For 2020, AHN HRC patients reported 0% in complications of care, 2.9% related readmissions, and a 90% average patient satisfaction rate.

“We’ve seen great success with our Home Recovery Care model at AHN and believe the expanded model through Home Recovery Care Plus will be a welcome addition to the options patients have following a hospital visit,” added Harshit Seth, MD, system medical director, Hospitalists Services at AHN, and medical director, AHN Home Recovery Care.

Geriatrician Lyn Weinberg, MD, and internal medicine physician Jessica Embrescia, DO, serve as the clinical leads overseeing the new HRCP model at AHN.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed many aspects of healthcare, including what the recovery options look like for our patients,” shared Dr. Weinberg. “The flexibility of allowing patients to heal and rehabilitate in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable is vital to their overall recovery,” added Dr. Embrescia.

HCRP is currently covered by Medicare Advantage health insurance in western Pennsylvania.

“Home Recovery Care Plus gives more patients the option to heal at home, a setting that is often proven to best match their needs,” said Travis Messina, chief executive officer, Contessa. “Highmark Health and Contessa have built a strong foundation of hospital-level care at home, and we see this expansion of services as a testament to our success. We look forward to providing the same high-quality care to more patients in their homes.”

About the Allegheny Health Network:
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region.  The Network is composed of 13 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, Health + Wellness Pavilions, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, and a group purchasing organization. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, trauma care, cardiovascular disease, organ transplantation, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes, autoimmune disease and more.  AHN employs approximately 21,000 people, has more than 2,500 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

About Contessa:

Based in Nashville, Contessa is the leader and pioneer of Home Recovery Care, a risk-based model that combines all the essential elements of inpatient hospital care in the comfort of patients’ homes. Founded in 2015, Contessa utilizes Care Convergence – a proprietary technology platform – to power the seamless delivery of Home Recovery Care that is safe, affordable and improves patient outcomes. Contessa’s turnkey solution provides upfront savings to health plans, enables health systems to reinvent their care delivery model and helps physicians deliver a better experience for patients.