The Moving Health Home Coalition is working to acquire additional data and long-term solutions to establish a permanent in-home hospital care program for patients in the wake of the uncertainty as the waiver for acute hospital care at home could end.
Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension and Amazon Care, the founding members of the coalition, seek to disrupt the current model of care by advocating for hospital-at-home programs.
The coalition, formed on March 3, 2021, aims to change federal and state policy to allow the home to be a clinical site of care.
Nathan Starr, DO, medical director of home services at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, spoke with Becker Hospital Review on how colatition is progressing in efforts to ensure that care is transferred to patients.
Question: Moving Health Home supports and updates changes to the Health Care Policy to designate the home as a clinical service site. What important policy changes has the coalition made or proposed?
Dr. Nathan Starr: There’s a lot going on in this space right now. One of the things the coalition did was present a letter to Congress, signed by more than 35 different health systems, in support of expanding the waiver for acute hospital care at home. We wanted to take advantage of the existing momtemum of the program.
We know this may not be the best long-term solution for hospital care at home, but we thought it would keep the momentum going to allow time to decide what the best long-term solution is for this type of programs.
Q: How did the coalition identify hospital home care as a need for patients?
NOT. : We conducted a survey to analyze the importance of home hospitalization for our patients.
We have discovered that patients want home care. Of those who received it, 85% said they would recommend it to other patients. So that was our first step, to determine why home care needs to move forward.
Q: What is the coalition working on to improve advocacy for hospital care at home?
We are looking at the cost of home care. It’s really important to us that this ends up being a less expensive model of care, so that we can pass those savings on to our patients and payers. This is the next big piece we are working on in the coalition. We need to make sure that we are not adding medical costs with this model of care.
There is also a lot of talk about replacing hospital days and acute care hospitalizations. We’re looking at how we can admit patients for home care who would otherwise have to be admitted to a hospital, and that we’re really replacing hospitalization and lowering overall expenses.
Q: Why is this case for hospital at home so important and what do you think can be learned from it?
NOT. : The coalition wants a five to ten year vision. We believe that health care must move care to patients, move care to where patients are, and move care out of high-cost settings.
This model of care can help keep patients happy and healthier.
If we do it right or nearly so, everyone wins. The patient can be cured at home, the payer wins because it’s a cheaper model of care, and the healthcare system wins because it can save money and unload some of our busy hospitals.
It’s a win-win for everyone.