In a new op-ed for @STAT News, Alliance of Community Health Plans President and CEO Ceci Connolly and Dr. Stephen Parodi, executive vice president at The Permanente Federation and associate executive director for The Permanente Medical Group, urge Congress to preserve hospital-level care at home.
Congress: Don’t let hospital care at home shrivel when the public health emergency ends
by Ceci Connolly and Dr. Stephen Parodi
During surges of Covid-19, providing hospital-level care in the home was a good alternative to receiving care in hospitals strained by historic staffing shortages and populated by people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. Rather than fading away with the pandemic, this form of care needs to be seen as an integral part of health care in the United States.
Hospital-level care in the home is delivering remarkable results. People with complex diseases such as sepsis, pneumonia, and congenital heart disease, who required admission to a hospital only a few years ago can — and do — receive high-quality, acute care in the safety and comfort of their homes. But this kind of care will stall without action by Congress to extend flexibilities for this care beyond the public health emergency. That will provide the stability and certainty that health plans and systems need to offer the personalized at-home care that patients prefer.
In-home hospital care is led by physicians who collaborate with skilled community care teams to deliver a mix of in-person visits, telehealth services, and remote monitoring. Hospital-at-home programs typically supply the equipment and staff needed to communicate with patients and their family members, and manage intravenous lines, perform diagnostic tests, and provide other services. They also rely heavily on physicians and nurses to manage care remotely.