Home Hospital Care in 2021 and Beyond

2020 taught us that there is an emphasized need for adaptability, transparency and collaboration in healthcare. In the hospital-care-at-home realm, rapid policy changes and urgently rethinking our model have both proven effective in supporting waves of COVID-19 patients.

Though it is challenging to predict what the next month, let alone year, may hold, we looked into our crystal ball and thought deeply about how hospital care at home could change in the future. Here are some key trends we predict:

  • Increased sophistication in patient monitoring. Continuous monitoring opportunities already exist, and remote monitoring will remain a critical need. Looking ahead, leaders are searching for additional capabilities comparable to hospital telemetry, and we think those will begin to emerge and scale. Among other possible innovations, this could include the adoption of patients using a wearable device, such as a patch, at home to share data points more continuously. 
  • Continued growth in existing and new markets. Existing at-home care providers like Contessa will need to continue serving patients in the environment we know works best: the home. And already, our existing partners are expressing interest in the provision of other services in the home. Some of this interest existed before the pandemic, and some materialized because of it. We envision this as a major area of opportunity in 2021. Additionally, we expect high volumes for hospital-at-home services, which continue to support capacity surges during peaks of the pandemic throughout 2020. 
  • Wider awareness of home hospital care as a critical piece of the healthcare continuum. To the point above, and evidenced by the recently issued CMS decision to help healthcare providers more easily expand the delivery of hospital-level care beyond its traditional setting, we also envision home hospital care becoming more mainstream in the new year. As home-based hospital care becomes the appropriate standard of care for qualifying patients, and as physicians continue to grow more familiar and comfortable with this type of care delivery, it only makes sense to be offered more broadly going forward.

Contessa’s unique ability to create a clinical and business model that’s scalable presents tremendous value and opportunity to partners across the industry. We feel strong potential to not only support the trends we envision for the new year but also to help bring them to fruition.

Disclaimer: The author of this post, geriatrician Mark Montoney, MD, was previously Contessa’s Chief Medical Officer. Though he is retired and no longer with the organization, the information in this article is clinically accurate and verified.