Offering to Begin in the Triangle and Expand Across North Carolina
UNC Health today announced it has reached an agreement with Medically Home Group, Inc. to establish an Acute Care at Home Program, which will enable UNC Health to provide hospital-level, high-acuity care to patients in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
The program will offer hospital-level services at home to patients who would otherwise require inpatient hospitalization for serious illnesses including exacerbation of chronic diseases (such as heart failure and COPD), infections (such as pneumonia and cellulitis) and post-surgical hospitalizations, as well as for COVID-19.
Under the program, UNC Health physicians and nurses in a medical command center will monitor patients in their homes 24/7. Patients will have access to hospital-level medical services (ranging from IV therapies, oxygen treatments and lab tests to X-rays and ultrasounds) without having to leave their homes, and without the disruption, stress and potential isolation that can be experienced by hospital inpatients.
Clinical studies have shown that home hospitalization delivers improved patient outcomes, higher patient and clinician satisfaction, cost savings, lower mortality, and lower risk for readmissions.
UNC Health plans to begin offering the Acute Care at Home Program no later than mid-2021 to patients of UNC Medical Center and UNC REX in the Triangle area. The health system plans to gradually extend the program to patients served by its other 10 hospitals across North Carolina, and is also evaluating opportunities to offer the service in partnership with other North Carolina hospitals.
“Acute Care at Home reflects UNC Health’s commitment to innovative care as we work to improve the health and well-being of all North Carolinians,” said UNC Health CEO Wesley Burks, MD. “Technology in enabling us to provide the right care to patients in a way that is safe and helps them recover where they are most comfortable. As Acute Care at Home availability expands across North Carolina through ongoing conversations with federal, state and commercial payers, we expect more and more patients will choose to receive high-acuity care at home.”
On November 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its Acute Hospital Care at Home program, a regulatory and reimbursement framework for health systems to provide hospital-level care to both COVID and non-COVID patients in their homes. The CMS action makes the country’s 62 million Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries eligible to be hospitalized at home.
“Medically Home’s model is purpose built to enable health systems to safely shift high-acuity medical care from hospitals to patients’ homes,” explained Matt Smith, UNC Health’s Vice President for Well Care & Specialty Services. The Medically Home model and integrated Cesia™ software allows UNC’s physicians and nurses to manage all aspects of a patient’s care 24/7 from a medical command center, directing a network of rapid-response clinical and non-clinical services, medications, equipment, and supplies brought to patients’ homes.
The Medically Home platform provides the technology in the home and the command center for monitoring and communicating with patients with a high-acuity illness; decision support to clinicians caring for those patients; and the collection and proper handling of patient vitals and other data, meshing with hospital electronic health record systems.
“We chose Medically Home due to the strength of its proven clinical model and technology, the breadth of potential use cases of the Medically Home platform, and Medically Home’s approach to collaborative partnerships with health systems,” said Smith.
“Medically Home shares UNC Health’s commitment to delivering transformative programs that improve patients’ health and wellbeing,” said Erin Bartley, Medically Home’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are excited to partner with UNC Health to enable it to deliver high-acuity care in the home, with improved patient satisfaction and outcomes, for patients across North Carolina.”
About UNC Health
UNC Health is an integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health is comprised of UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kinston; Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro; Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir; Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Southeastern Health in Lumberton, UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network. For more information, please visit www.unchealth.org.
About Medically Home Group
Medically Home Group is a technology-enabled services company that provides the clinical intellectual property, technology platform and coordination of acute rapid-response services that allow medical providers to safely shift advanced medical care from hospitals to patients’ homes. Through enabling its provider partners to create superior experiences and outcomes for patients, their families, and healthcare stakeholders, Medically Home is leading the charge in the innovation of healthcare delivery. For more information on Medically Home, please visit www.medicallyhome.com/.