Healthcare has left the building – well, sort of. More and more, healthcare providers are exploring options to manage patient care outside the hospital and other traditional care settings. Instead, they’re opting to meet patients where they are, which, more often than not, is in the home.
There are many benefits of home-based care, including:
- Better patient experiences, reducing the need to travel to and from hospitals for appointments
- More equitable care, providing a more convenient and feasible option for those in rural areas or those without regular access to transportation to connect with doctors and nurses
- Relief for healthcare workers, curbing patient admissions, and allowing busy physicians and nurses to focus on those who need care most
- Lower cost of care, limiting (re)admissions that can hike up costs for payers, providers and patients
In fact, just last week, Mass General Brigham announced plans to dramatically scale its hospital-at-home program to contain healthcare spending, increase hospital capacity and enhance patient experiences. With McKinsey estimating that $265 billion worth of care services could shift from traditional facilities to the home by 2025, we’ll likely see more providers follow suit.
So, what does home-based care look like? Will coffee tables start to double as operating tables? Thankfully, no (at least not yet). Home-based care is largely enabled by technology. For instance, V2 client Current Health, a Best Buy Health company, offers a care-at-home platform that includes a wearable device that continuously and passively collects patients’ vital sign data. This information, along with data self-reported by the patient through connected devices, is transmitted to the patients’ care teams and configured to alert them immediately to any issues. From there, the physician can proactively reach out to the patient via telehealth or patient engagement solutions to discuss how the patient is feeling and determine next steps. Patients feel relief knowing their care is being managed without a trip to the ER, and doctors can deliver better care at scale through tech-enabled prioritization support.
The shift to home-based care is having ripple effects across the healthcare and life sciences industry. V2 client CarePort®, powered by WellSky®, the leading care coordination network with thousands of providers connected across the U.S., is finding that patients and their families favor home-based post-acute care over skilled nursing facilities. According to their 2022 Evolution of Care report, home health referrals increased 116% from 2019. And Optavise, a one-stop shop for employee benefits programs, has increased employee education on the benefits of using telehealth services that they may not have known they had access to.
As technology advances and becomes even more user-friendly for patients and providers alike, we are bound to see more care being managed in the home – paving the way for more accessible, affordable and higher-quality care for all.