Structured home care program reduced SNF stays 27%, hospital finds

Share this article:
Primary home care significantly reduced Medicare costs and SNF stays
Primary home care significantly reduced Medicare costs and SNF stays

A hospital substantially reduced Medicare costs and skilled nursing facility stays by providing more primary care in frail elders' homes, according to study findings published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia achieved Medicare cost savings of 17% over a two-year period, researchers at the hospital determined. The roughly 720 patients enrolled in the program also experienced 27% fewer days in a SNF, 23% fewer specialist visits and 20% fewer emergency department visits than a control group of about 2,100 Medicare beneficiaries.

The hospital's Medical House Call program involves teams of physicians and nurse practitioners that provide around-the-clock telephone coverage, frequently do house calls and help manage the cases that do enter the hospital, according to information from MedStar.

“We can expand these services, if the payment system supports growth of such mobile care teams," stated K. Eric De Jonge, M.D., study co-author and co-founder of the house call program.

The D.C. hospital achieved the savings by shifting costs from inpatient stays and other expensive services to home-based care, the study authors explained. The most significant savings were achieved for the group with the highest frailty. Mortality was comparable for the participants and control group.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of 18 sites participating in the Medicare demonstration project called Independence at Home, the hospital noted. The participants are studying costs and health outcomes associated with increased home care.

Click here to access the complete findings. Click here to view a related video.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.