US model for hospital care at home reduces costs and increases patient satisfaction

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 11 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3997
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

An innovative “hospital at home” acute care programme has reduced costs by 19% with similar or better clinical outcomes and increased patient satisfaction, an analysis has found. The programme combines daily home visits by doctors and nurses with telemedicine technology.

The ongoing programme at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was offered to those who met entry criteria, and a total of 582 patients (93%) enrolled between October 2008 and April 2012. It was adapted from a model developed at Johns Hopkins University. The controls were patients with similar conditions and demographics—including those who declined to enroll and those who were not offered the option because of severity of disease, limited mobility, or distance.

“The savings were predominately derived from lower average length of stay [3.3 v 4.5 days’ mean stay in hospital] and use …

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