“Hospital Care at Home Put Me at Ease”

When George Hoff’s fever spiked in early January, his wife Dale knew it might be COVID-19. A rapid test proved her right. Within days, she and her son tested positive, too.

“I had mild symptoms, but it hit George and my son a lot worse. I found myself playing nurse to both of them,” said Dale.

George’s condition quickly declined. Dale packed him up in the car and took him to Saint Thomas Midtown in Nashville. Too weak to walk, she used a wheelchair to deliver the 80-year-old to the emergency room. She didn’t see him again for six full days.

Once George stabilized, his hospitalist, Dr. Ward, told her about Saint Thomas’s Hospital Care at Home program, which is provided through a partnership with Contessa. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) had recently expanded coverage of the program to Medicare fee-for-service patients, which meant George qualified. He had the opportunity to complete his hospital stay in the comfort of his own home, with Dale by his side.

“At first, I was skeptical. It sounded like a lot of care at home. But when I realized how weak he was, I knew it was the right choice.”

After six days of inpatient care, George was sent home with remote patient monitoring devices, a tablet for rounds with Dr. Ward, and acute care registered nurse visits twice a day.

“The technology was so easy to use! I was able to enter George’s vitals even when the nurses weren’t there,” said Dale. “It was really good to see all the nurses; they were so kind and comforting. It made for a relaxing experience.”

George was discharged from Hospital Care at Home after four days and is continuing to improve. Dale notes that he is getting stronger every day but is still on oxygen.

“I definitely recommend Hospital Care at Home. The experience put me at ease and helped my husband heal faster.”

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