Hospital-at-Home Programs: A Closer Look at National Outcomes

Original Article:

Low Mortality Rates in Hospital-at-Home Programs

Most people when ill wish to avoid hospital as care can be expensive, uncomfortable and even dangerous!  Having access to care at home (can be very similar to being in hospital if organized correctly. Previous research has suggested that having access to this type of care at home, is associated with a better experience, allows patients to return their mobility more quickly and is less risky. A recent national study on hospital-at-home programs reveals that these programs also have a very low death rate, only 0.5%. This type of hospital care at-home is not for people with minor issues; they are for patients who really need serious care.

Complex Patients and Positive Outcomes

The study looked at over 5,800 patients across the country who used hospital-at-home programs. These patients had complex health conditions, such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and dementia. Besides the low death rate, the study found other promising results. Only 6.2% of patients needed to go back to the hospital for more care, which is a very positive finding. 

Hopes for the Future and Challenges

The study also showed that this type of care is given fairly across different racial and ethnic groups, which is good news in terms of heath equity. However, it pointed out that very few patients in rural areas are using these programs where staffing these programs in rural areas is challenging. Since the COVID pandemic, more health systems are starting hospital-at-home programs. The federal government has allowed waivers to make it more financially affordable, but there’s still a debate about whether these programs should be funded permanently. More research is needed as always