Hospital at home and integrated care improves quality, savings

Healthcare organizations looking to deliver high-quality care at a lower cost, might consider looking to an approach by New Mexico-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services and the nation's largest "Hospital at Home" program. The program eases hospital crowding and reduces hospitalizations by providing hospital-level care in the patient's home, wrote Dr. Jason Hwang, executive director of healthcare at Innosight Institute, in a column yesterday on CNBC.

Not only did home-based care have clinical outcomes on par or better than baseline measures for the hospital setting, but it also saved between $2,000 and $3,000 per clinical episode.

The Hospital at Home program also helped Presbyterian Healthcare improve the patient's experience, as patients were happier to receive care at home, Hwang noted.

Another integrated home healthcare delivery system, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), has enabled providers to do more with less. For instance, through its PCMH, Washington-based Group Health Cooperative gives patients more care and longer time spent with doctors.

After implementing the PCMH for a couple of years, emergency room visits and hospitalizations dropped, while patient satisfaction and national recognition for quality primary care increased, according to Hwang.

And with patient-centered healthcare homes and other home healthcare models on the rise, hospitals must join in the coordinated care effort to help reduce readmissions and emergency room visits.

For more information:
- read the CNBC column