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Allegheny Health Network expands home hospital program when total CMS exemption reaches 80

The Acute Hospital Care At Home initiative of the US Medicare & Medicaid Service Center (CMS) currently has at least 80 participants. Admin Seema Verma announces Wednesday..

Announced in November, this initiative has grown rapidly, especially recently. Finally, the CMS hopes that the new home hospital model will enhance acute care capacity and keep patients in the most comfortable location.

The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) was the eighth organization whose home hospital program was approved by the CMS. Experience with the pre-government initiative model has approved it under a rapid process.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Highmark Health is AHN’s parent company. Its businesses include home and community-based services, as well as a network of hospitals and physicians, and the Highmark Health Plan.

AHN’s “Home Recovery Care” program is being facilitated by a joint venture with Contessa Health, based in Nashville, Tennessee.

The program is accredited through a CMS and can be offered to Medicare beneficiaries in the areas where AHN serves.

Christina Weir Ripley, Vice President of Clinical Transformation at Himark Health, told home care: news. “And when we went through that evaluation process and were looking for a way to get there, that was when we landed on our JV partner Contessa.”

Contessa was a logical match. It had previously worked with other home hospital models, including the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the earliest in the United States.

AHN began offering the program to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in January 2020.

With AHN, patients can be admitted to a home recovery program in multiple ways. They can be admitted after a visit or admission to the emergency room, as well as during observations at the hospital, or without going to the hospital at all.

The organization had already treated dozens of patients in the program before applying for an exemption from the CMS. As a result, AHN believed that the transition to Acute Hospital Care at Home Initiative would be seamless.

AHN also had a natural advantage. It owns and operates a unique home care service that plays an important role in the concept of a home hospital.

“As part of our home care facility, we own and operate a variety of home care businesses, which certainly gave us a corporate advantage here,” said Weir Ripley. “So we were able to use a fairly strong and structurally organized home care network to assemble and deliver care.”

Prior to the newly launched CMS program, the main barrier to the home hospital model was reimbursement. Reimbursement may continue to be an issue, given that the CMS has made the new exemption available only in public health emergencies.

“Perhaps our greatest hope is that the value of this type of program will be demonstrated through a CMS exemption,” said Weir Ripley. “We clearly believe it. We did this prior to the pandemic. We provided this even after the CMS codified a more permanent redemption path and survived public health emergencies. I hope I can continue. “

As of January 4, only 56 hospitals were approved by the CMS.

Cooperate with patients at home

AHN’s capabilities in the home are extensive, Dr. Harshit Seth, medical director of the Home Recovery Care model, told HHCN.

When AHN treats patients in the home, it most often deals with COPD, pneumonia, asthma, acute renal failure, and other conditions. Recently, the list also includes COVID-19.

Currently, AHN is working to treat COVID-19 patients with more advanced treatments and expand their overall offering.

“This program can decompress hospitals where the census is booming,” said Seth. “I’m glad we did this because of the pandemic, and because we can take some of these patients away from the infection. But another reason we started this is , Because it improves overall patient satisfaction and overall quality of care, and reduces complications. “

As of January 13, US hospital beds were more than 70% full, nearly 18% of which were occupied by COVID-19 patients, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The preliminary results of the AHN program in terms of patient satisfaction are good and one of the most promising aspects to date, Seth said.

“Everyone loves being at home and being able to take care of them, and we also have quality and escalation protocols in case something unexpected happens,” says Seth. Stated. “There are no hospital visits that patients dislike, which causes many mental health problems for patients, especially older patients.”

Or at home, a loved one can even help with the recovery process.

In Pennsylvania, as of January 13, more than 75% of inpatient beds were filled and more than 20% of COVID-19 patients were filled. According to HHS data, nearly 80% of all ICU beds were occupied.

As home hospital models become more common and more beneficial to both patients and healthcare organizations, models that were aware of the benefits of home care prior to the COVID-19 crisis may dominate.

“This is the beginning for us to begin expanding the types of care we can provide at home,” said Weir Ripley.

Allegheny Health Network expands home hospital program when total CMS exemption reaches 80

Source link Allegheny Health Network expands home hospital program when total CMS exemption reaches 80

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