Intermountain Healthcare Is Now Providing Hospital-Level Care in Patient Homes
Intermountain Healthcare is now providing hospital-level healthcare services in people’s homes for patients who meet certain clinical and non-clinical criteria.
Intermountain will deliver this in-home hospital-level care in partnership with Castell, a comprehensive health platform company that helps organizations transition to value-based care, improve patient outcomes, and keep costs more affordable. Castell is an Intermountain Healthcare company.
Intermountain has explored this service over the past couple of years and recently accelerated its progression to help support the health system in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients.
Intermountain has a strong legacy of providing care in people’s homes through Intermountain Homecare and a robust telehealth team with experience in providing care via digital platforms. Intermountain and Castell leaders built on that knowledge and expertise to design this new in-home hospital-level care service.
“The hospitals of the future will expand virtually into homes to provide appropriate acute-level care. This new service supports patients who are at risk for hospitalization or complications, along with their families,” said Rajesh Shrestha, Castell president and CEO and Intermountain VP and COO for community-based care.
“Many patients find they feel more calm and comfortable at home than in a hospital, and that in itself can be conducive to healing. It also allows people to be more independent,” he added.
At Intermountain, healthcare providers will identify patients who need hospitalization but could benefit and qualify for receiving certain hospital-level care services at home. They will offer home hospital-level care as an option for patients who would like to participate and with an insurance plan or payment currently in a value-based arrangement with Intermountain.
The service will treat patients for conditions such as congestive heart failure, some kidney related conditions, some intestinal or vein conditions, infections such as cellulitis, and certain cancer diagnoses.
Providing hospital-level services in patient homes helps reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency room, and shorten or eliminate the time some patients spend in a hospital setting, while allowing them to continue to receive the acute care they need.
“When caregivers are able to actually see and treat a patient in their home environment, they gain a better understanding of ways to help the patient make their daily tasks safer, healthier, or easier,” said Josh Romney, MD, Castell population health medical director and an internal medicine physician with Intermountain Medical Group.
“Enabling hospital-level care in patients’ homes will help advance Intermountain Healthcare’s transition to value-based care, where the goal is to keep patients healthy, improve outcomes and reduce overall costs,” Dr. Romney added.
“Receiving hospital-level care at home typically costs less than overnight hospital stays, which ultimately leads to lower out of pocket costs – not only for patients – but health systems as well,” said Nick Bassett, Castell vice president of population health services.
“If I’d had this home monitoring years ago, it would have saved me many trips to the emergency room,” said Rickey Florez, a congestive heart failure patient currently receiving hospital-level services at home. Florez had a heart attack in 2012 followed by multiple bypass heart surgery on Valentine’s Day that year.
“With home monitoring, I’m more aware of my body and better understand the numbers the doctors are looking at and what they mean. Receiving care at home is very helpful because I don’t drive anymore and my kids work, so transportation is hard,” added Florez.
Details of this new service include initial set-up and orientation in the hospital, followed by regular in-person and virtual check-ins from a care team of in-home and tele-nurses, as well as a tele-hospitalist. On-call services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Patients are provided with a remote patient monitoring kit and other home health equipment as needed for their particular diagnoses. Standard equipment includes a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, cellular-enabled digital tablet, and a digital scale. Additional equipment such as a continuous heart rate and oxygen sensor will be added, based on a patient’s diagnosis. All the devices connect to the tablet through Bluetooth and transmit vital signs to a remote monitoring center where a team of Intermountain Telehealth specialists monitor patients 24/7.