HHS Ponders Major Policy Shift Toward ‘Hospital at Home’

The Department of Health and Human Services is seriously considering a major shift in policy pertaining to the care and treatment of patients suffering from certain types of illnesses. Known as “hospital at home” (HaH), the proposed program would provide hospital-level services for beneficiaries with selected acute illnesses who would otherwise be hospitalized. Under HaH, a patient is admitted while in the hospital and then sent home via ambulance where a physician or nurse practitioner provides home-based acute care services. Nurses visit once or more a day to provide most of the care and a physician or nurse practitioner sees patients at least daily in person or via video call facilitated by the nurse. Durable medical equipment, phlebotomy, and home radiography are provided when needed. Once the patient has recovered from the acute illness, he or she is discharged and the 30-day post-acute period begins. During this period, nurses and social workers provide self-management support and coordination of care with primary care clinicians, specialists, rehabilitation, and outpatient testing as needed. HHS Keenly Interested Last week, HHS Secretary Alex Azar indicated that the agency was “keenly interested in ideas for home-based, hospital-level care” and asked researchers at Mount Sinai to work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as it develops a model for hospit [...]

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6/22/18 5:35 PM

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