A major investment from two of the most prominent providers in the country indicates the continued interest in hospital-at-home programs, which enable clinicians to provide hospital-level care in patients’ homes.
On Thursday, Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente announced they are investing approximately $100 million combined in Medically Home Group, a Boston-based company that offers hospital-at-home services.
The funds are intended to scale Medically Home’s operations and allow providers — not just limited to Mayo and Kaiser — to offer high-acuity care at home to patients, said Traci Klein, a Mayo Clinic spokeswoman, in an email.
Medically Home provides a technology and services platform through which clinicians can address a range of conditions, including higher-acuity conditions traditionally treated in hospital settings, like cancer, heart failure, pneumonia, transfusions and acute Covid-19 care.
The company’s care delivery model includes a 24/7 medical command center staffed by clinicians and a team that can care for patients at their bedside. The model also includes required protocols for high-acuity care in the home, rapid response logistics systems and the Cesia Continuum, which enables physician oversight via telemedicine and biometrics monitoring combined with predictive analytics, among other capabilities.
Both Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic previously partnered with Medically Home for their own hospital-at-home programs.
Mayo implemented Medically Home’s model and platform in two locations last year — one in Jacksonville, Florida, and the second in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Klein said. There are plans to expand to additional Mayo locations.
Kaiser implemented the Medically Home model in its Northwest and Northern California locations in 2020, said Hilary Costa, a Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman, in an email. The health system also plans to expand the model.
“Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente both independently identified Medically Home as an implementation partner for its proven track record of enabling health systems and providers to deliver serious and complex care in the home,” Klein said.
The hospital-at-home effort is by no means new — it has been growing for the last 20-plus years, said Nathan Ray, a director in the healthcare and life sciences practice at consulting firm West Monroe, in an email.
“Those models over the years have found better outcomes, such as less acquired infections and positive mental impacts,” he said. “It has also found to be cost-effective with less tests and less waste to ultimately bring acute care back home for those patients/conditions that qualify.”
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, interest in hospital-at-home programs accelerated, with large providers like Kaiser, Mayo and Multicare, a Washington-based health system, launching programs of their own and companies like DispatchHealth seeing billion-dollar valuations.
Further, there has been keen interest from payers as well and it will be interesting to see how that affects the space, Ray said. Just last month, Humana took full control of home health and hospice provider Kindred at Home in an acquisition totaling $8.1 billion, and Anthem completed its purchase of home health benefits manager MyNEXUS.
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