In the past, innovation in healthcare in the acute setting was heavily focused on improvements in procedural interventions or critical care. Recently, however, there has been a shift and developing interest in care at home. As a result, many tech-enabled care delivery improvements are being focused on the home. In addition, clinical necessity, driven by the pandemic, has required healthcare systems deliver better care beyond the four walls of the hospital.
Enter hospital at home.
In November 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the Acute Hospital Care at Home program. Although the hospital at home model dates back to the 1990s, there was limited adoption due to reimbursement constraints. Because of the unprecedented burdens during the pandemic, such as bed shortages and limited resources and staff, CMS implemented the program to allow for health systems to deliver care to patients safely and efficiently. Since the announcement, 203 hospitals across 92 health systems in 34 states have been approved to deliver acute care in the home.1 Even though the issues faced during the pandemic have improved, the AHCAH program has helped transform the traditional healthcare system and led hospitals, clinicians and lawmakers to rethink the way care is delivered.