Hospital-at-home care has been around in various forms since the 1970s, but the concept gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic when patient beds in medical facilities became scarce as the virus spread. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the Acute Care at Home Waiver program in 2020, allowing providers to treat select patients at home at the same reimbursement rates as patients in hospitals.
Congress extended the rebate program through the end of December 2024 and is collecting data from participating hospitals on cost savings and patient outcomes. The results could help determine the future of the program and how hospitals will be reimbursed by Medicare. subsequent years,
Hospital-at-home programs are offered in 281 hospitals in 37 states. Texas, North Carolina and Ohio have the most programs, according to the Chilmark report released Thursday.
The report found that growth in hospital-at-home will be largely driven by companies that offer turnkey services and those that offer a la carte services such as medical staffing, remote patient monitoring, medical testing and care management. Are. Ikoeva said larger hospitals may contract with systems vendors to complement their services while smaller hospitals may need to partner with full-stack firms.
Companies already offering a full list of services include medically home And bioformisBoth are based in Boston, as well as Nashville, Tennessee-based. contessa health, a division of amadeis, Those companies offer one-stop shopping for hospital-at-home providers. They coordinate staffing, command centers, and many other services provided by many a la carte vendors.
More companies are offering turnkey solutions. inner health Recent example. Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Alina Health Inbound launched as its home hospital care program in 2020 and spun off the unit last year as a separate company with $20 million in funding from Flare Capital Partners and McKesson Ventures. Although Allina Health is currently the company’s sole partner, Dave Kerwar, CEO of Inbound Health, said the company plans to partner with other providers by the end of the year.
large retailers, such as best Buy And Amazoncan also play an important role. Best Buy owns care-at-home platform Current Health and partnership Together atrium health in March. The collaboration will provide hospital-at-home and potentially other services to patients. Amazon bought member-based primary care provider One Medical in Feb. Ecovaeva said those retailers may add additional services to fuel growth in hospital-at-home.
Despite the promise of the concept, the report cited potential obstacles to development. Poor internet connectivity in rural communities is one.
Reimbursement uncertainty is another. Still, Kerwar said he expects CMS to continue reimbursing for hospital-at-home after 2024. Even though it lowers reimbursement rates, Kerwar said providers can still make money because the programs allow them to treat sicker, more expensive patients in one facility. While providing low cost care to others at home.