Exploring the Many Possibilities of Hospital Care at Home
We’ve learned a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned that our doctors and nurses really are heroes, putting their lives on the line to serve their communities. We’ve learned just how far apart six feet of social distance can make us feel. We’ve learned the power of science, with life-saving vaccines produced in record time.
But perhaps what we’re most certain of is that we can’t be certain about anything. It’s impossible to know what’s around every corner. And while we can’t realistically be prepared for every scenario that may happen in healthcare, we can be adaptable and scalable, and anticipate some of the emerging needs of hospitals and health systems. One of the best tools for this is hospital-at-home and the many different care models it can support.
More Than Acute Care
Hospital care at home started with a laser focus on acute care, which was highly intentional. We wanted to master how to deliver the most complex care at home first, tackling the most major challenge. At Contessa, we now cover over 40 conditions and hundreds of DRGs, including asthma, COPD, dehydration and gastrointestinal conditions. However, hospitals have many service lines to offer; a comprehensive home strategy requires covering all of them too. The way our team delivers the most value is by impacting the most people, whether that’s patients, physicians or other key players involved in Contessa’s provision of healthcare.
Of late, we’ve looked for ways to expand the hospital-at-home option to more conditions, ones that cannot be defined as acute care. This includes palliative care and skilled-nursing care, among others. One of our newest expanded partnerships, launching soon with Mount Sinai Health, is leading the way in this new provision of care in the home. Palliative and skilled-nursing care are natural evolutions from what happens in a typical 30-day episode with Contessa. We’re continuing to care for patients on a longitudinal basis, rather than the standard episodic hospital-at-home stay.
What is more, we have expanded our offerings at the needs of our partners. Hospitals and health systems today are highly fragmented. They are exploring ways to improve this fragmentation with a singular partner who can provide care in the home. Having one team deliver this care also contributes to greater care coordination, a contributing factor to the acclaimed patient engagement model of hospital care at home.
Mount Sinai realized this quickly in our partnership, with leadership recognizing that one partner would be the greatest benefit to the system. More patients receiving care in the home has ultimately led to improved clinical adoption and behavior changes by referring physicians and teams; a better managed care strategy; and an improved ability to staff the teams providing care in the home.
Vertically integrating nursing services and traditional home health capabilities leads to higher-quality care, which ultimately leads to better outcomes, better patient satisfaction and better financial results for all. Expanded service lines like palliative care and skilled nursing care are natural pathways for the future of hospital-at-home care, allowing patients the treatment and symptom relief they need, while still enjoying the built-in comforts (and loved ones) of home.