Salem Hospital patients will now have access to Mass General Brigham’s Home Hospital services as part of its efforts to reach more patients across the region with care in the comfort of their own homes.
The program was recently granted authorization to expand from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
“We are extremely excited to introduce the Home Hospital program, which will revolutionize the healthcare journey for many patients at Salem Hospital,” said president and chief operating officer Roxanne Ruppel. “Delivering top-notch care to patients in the comfort of their homes demonstrates our commitment to innovative, patient-centered care, that also reduces costs.”
A recognized leader in the industry, Mass General Brigham currently operates one of the largest Home Hospitals in the country. Home Hospital provides acute care for patients at home who traditionally would need inpatient hospitalization. Mass General Brigham’s Home Hospital was formed in 2022, combining the successful hospital at home efforts in operation at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 2016.
“We are incredibly proud of the impact that Home Hospital has had on its patients, as well as our care teams across Mass General Brigham,” said Heather O’Sullivan, president of Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home. “This expansion is an exciting opportunity to provide greater access to the integrated, high-quality care we offer to even more patients in our surrounding communities.”
Home Hospital care gained momentum in 2020 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver that provided federal regulatory and financial authorization for these programs to combat the COVID pandemic. Since then, Mass General Brigham has provided Home Hospital services to over 3,000 patients, shifting the site of care for 15,000 days that would have otherwise been spent inside hospital facilities. In 2023, the Mass General Brigham Home Hospital has facilitated over 1,000 admissions to date and currently has a capacity for 33 patients with an eye toward near-term expansion to serve 45 patients daily.
Home Hospital provides a home-based alternative to a facility-based inpatient hospital stay by maximizing care and recovery time within the comfort of a patient’s home. More advanced than traditional home health services, Mass General Brigham Home Hospital patients receive comprehensive treatment that involves daily in-home or virtual visits. These will be from a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician, in collaboration with broader care from a team of paramedics, nurses, therapists, and home health aides. Services provided include intravenous fluids and medications, laboratory testing, oxygen, radiology studies, electrocardiograms, and ultrasounds directly in the home. All of this is supported by a 24/7 continuous remote patient monitoring platform that transmits a patient’s vital sign readings to their clinicians as well as a two-way text and video communication pathway that ensures continual access to a patient’s clinical team.
According to research led by Dr. David Levine, clinical director of research and development at Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home, providing care at home results in improved quality outcomes, enhanced patient and employee experiences, and increased capacity and access to inpatient care. The program also provides greater visibility into a patient’s socioeconomic needs and offers additional resources to support their care.
“Being able to have that kind of vantage point, you can ensure greater health and safety of a patient as you’re tailoring their care plan to their personal environment,” said Dr. Stephen Dorner, chief clinical and innovation officer for Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home.
As the current capacity crisis continues to put strain on healthcare providers and facility-based hospitals, Home Hospital offers a care delivery model that increases facility hospital bed availability to treat the sickest patients requiring more complex care. Growing the Home Hospital will continue to be a strategic priority for Mass General Brigham as it exemplifies the value of well-integrated and patient-focused care. Over the next five years, the system expects to shift 10 percent of inpatient care at Brigham and Women’s, Mass General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Salem Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital to patients’ homes.