Mayo Clinic teams with Medically Home to expand in-home hospital care

Mayo Clinic is investing in Boston-based Medically Home as it teams up with the company to launch a new at-home advanced care model.

The model will give patients with conditions that were previously managed in the hospital the option to transition home to continue receiving care both virtually and in-person as they recover. Starting in July, Mayo will begin offering patient enrollment for the advanced care at home model for patients in Jacksonville, Florida, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

"As a physician, I have always believed that patients should receive the right care, at the right time, in the right setting to restore wellness rapidly. During COVID-19, we've learned that patients expect more virtual and remote care than ever," said John Halamka, M.D., president of the Mayo Clinic Platform.

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Medically Home will provide the technology platform that will enable the at-home care. Under the direction of Mayo Clinic physicians, patients will be able to have services such as infusions, skilled nursing, medications, laboratory and imaging services, behavioral health and rehabilitation services from a network of paramedics, nurses and other support team members, officials said.

Among the benefits, officials said the move will create more flexible capacity within the healthcare system, a factor that will continue to be important in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Having patients who can transition home more rapidly opens up resources to respond to other needs such as COVID-19 and other complex pressures on the healthcare system, officials said.

As COVID-19 cases surged worldwide this spring, U.S. officials saw hospitals overseas were overwhelmed with patients and scrambled to plan for the worst. Health officials cut elective care and stood up field hospitals to handle the expected crush of patients sick with COVID-19 among their typical patient volumes. Many saw that capacity go largely unused.

But technology and regulatory changes have made at-home care offerings more available than ever, officials said.

In-home healthcare is a booming market, and the company has attracted big-name investors and health system partners. Most recently, Dispatch Health scored $135.8 million in series C financing led by Optum Ventures, the venture arm of Optum. Dispatch sends emergency care-trained medical teams to patients' homes armed with mobile blood work labs, IV fluids, nebulizers and most of the standard equipment found in emergency rooms to diagnose and treat patients.

Tufts Medical Center in Boston was among the health systems that began exploring an alternative plan for flexibility, testing hospital-level acute care in patients' homes with Medically Home.

"The work we will be doing together in this model, will have a profound impact on how we all look at the future of medical care delivery," said Raphael Rakowski, executive chairman of Medically Home.