Gundersen is Bringing Hospital-Level Care into Patients’ Homes

Gundersen Home Hospital Helps Avoid Unnecessary Hospital Stays and Improves Patient Outcomes

Gundersen Health System is enhancing its nationally-recognized efforts on quality care and patient experience by introducing a new care option to provide patients added convenience and care options.

Gundersen Home Hospital brings all the essential elements of hospital care to the comfort of a patients’ home, allowing many patients to avoid a hospital admission altogether. Through a new partnership with Contessa, the leading operator of home hospital care, this initiative represents Gundersen’s latest effort to leverage emerging technology to deliver convenient, patient-centered care.

This model of care is gaining adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the model has been around for decades, advances in technology and evolving patient preferences for care and convenience are now making care at home more realistic for health systems.

“We continually seek and integrate new technologies to provide quality care and enhance our patients’ experience. Gundersen, in partnership with and support from Contessa, is very excited to offer Gundersen Home Hospital as a new care model,” shares Beth Smith-Houskamp, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer, Gundersen Health System. “We can now treat eligible patients with certain medical conditions, who choose to receive care in a setting where they are most comfortable, which is often their home.

Gundersen is launching acute and observation care models in spring 2021 for Quartz Medicare Advantage patients, with opportunities to expand in the future. Patients who have one or more of approximately 40 major medical conditions, such as asthma, dehydration, or pneumonia, can safely receive medical care in the comfort of their homes after being evaluated by a doctor. Patients enrolled in Gundersen Home Hospital receive visits from an acute care registered nurse, as well as regular virtual physician check-ups.

Contessa’s acute care-model drives positive health outcomes; historically on average the model has produced results reducing readmission rates by 44 percent, decreasing the mean length of a hospital stay by 35 percent and has a patient satisfaction score in excess of 90 percent. Reducing the need for hospital admissions, this patient-centered approach to treatment empowers people to take control of their health – in the home setting that is familiar and less stressful.

“Gundersen is committed to taking every extra step needed to keep patients as healthy as possible. Gundersen Home Hospital is a natural extension of that dedication to the patients and communities they serve. This model personalizes care for acute and chronic conditions while lowering costs. Contessa is honored to partner with Gundersen to drive its mission forward,” says Travis Messina, Contessa CEO.

About Gundersen Health System

Gundersen Health System is a physician-led, non-profit, comprehensive integrated healthcare network headquartered in La Crosse, Wis. More than 9,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 clinicians, serve people in 21 counties in western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeast Iowa. With more than one million patient visits every year across our seven hospitals and more than 60 clinic locations, Gundersen’s purpose is to enhance the health and well-being of our communities and enrich every life we touch. Learn more about our excellence in patient care, education, research and something we call Love + Medicine at

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. For more information, visit or follow us at @contessahealth.