Texas Health Resources is launching a new model to allow patients to receive clinical care and services in the comfort of their own home.
In response to changing preferences and care delivery models catalyzed by the pandemic, the initiative started last month and is already serving several clients at home in North Texas with acute illnesses that would usually be treated in the hospital. A McKinsey survey predicts that $265 billion worth of care services (representing one quarter of all healthcare costs) for Medicare fee-for-service and medicare advantage beneficiaries could be done in the home by 2025.
Based on a survey of physicians who serve predominantly Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) and Medicare Advantage (MA) patients, we estimate that up to $265 billion worth of care services (representing up to 25 percent of the total cost of care) for Medicare FFS and MA beneficiaries could shift from traditional facilities to the home by 2025 without a reduction in quality or access.
The program is currently offered at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and Texas Health Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth. Only patients within a 25-mile range from those locations or the newly constructed medical command center in the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas can access the program, but COO of Ambulatory & Virtual Channel at Texas Health Resources, Kathi Cox, says Texas Health hopes to expand to cover the North Texas area.
Emergency physicians admit patients into the program after being identified as potential candidates who meet clinical, geographical, and social standards to ensure it is safe for them to receive care at home. The program seeks to provide a more intimate level of patient care and emotional support while decreasing the rate of hospital readmissions.
“Once a patient is identified in the Emergency Department and has met all the criteria, we arrange for the patient to be transported to their home and for a paramedicine team to be dispatched to the home to set up the technology,” Cox says.
Mobile care teams and remote care technology are making the hospital-to-home program a reality.
“We have a service provider network consisting of advanced practice nurses, paramedicine, and diagnostic services who will be visiting our patients within their home and communicating with our Medical Command Center,” Cox says. “Additionally, we have technology in the home that is communicating vital signs to the Medical Command Center on a regular basis.”
Though just a month old, there have already been some success stories. Patients being in a familiar space can be comforting and improve outcomes. A 73-year-old patient experiencing dementia and a UTI with the risk of becoming septic was treated at home and improved his condition in just three days, Cox says.
“The family shared with our advanced practice provider that if he had been admitted to the hospital, it would have been very difficult on the patient due to his dementia and the confusion of being in a hospital environment,” Cox says.
The program operates under the CMS waiver with plans to expand to insurance providers who may offer the hospital-at-home model.
“Texas Health is embracing innovation and meeting consumers where and when they need us,” said Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources via release.