Hospitalized in Your Home? It’s Happening Now.
What if, instead of going to the hospital, the hospital came to you? It’s not a far-fetched, in-the-future notion. In some areas of the country, it’s happening right now, reports Kaiser Health News.
The concept is called hospital-at-home. A few hospitals have been trying it out with willing patients whom they think can safely stay home, while they bring the equipment, doctors and nurses to them. Kaiser reports:
In most programs, doctors examine the patient daily and nurses and aides come up to three times a day, often for an extended period. Patients are admitted for three to five days after being seen in the emergency room, referred by a physician or discharged early from a hospital. …
“It’s a very successful model and in five years, I think it’s going to be very common. But we’re still in the early adoption phase,” said Mark McClelland, an assistant professor at the Center for Health Care Quality at George Washington University.
The article details a number of challenges the concept faces before becoming more common—including getting acceptance from traditional Medicare. Right now, hospital-at-home programs are being tried out in Albuquerque; Portland, OR; Honolulu; Boise, ID; and New Orleans, the article says. More are planned for other areas. (Look for the bullet-pointed list in the article to see where.)
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.