Hospital-at-home gets high marks in survey

July 9, 2024 10:02 am

More than half of people surveyed would feel just as safe getting hospital-level care at home as they would in a facility, according to the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Healthcare systems across the country are placing big bets on hospital-at-home programs, pushing access to more rural communities and lobbying state Medicaid programs to reimburse for the service. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waiver reimbursing for acute care at home expires at the end of this year, but bipartisan members of Congress are backing legislation that would provide Medicare reimbursement for another five years. More than 330 hospitals across 37 states offer hospital-level care at-home programs through the CMS Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver.

About 47% of 1,134 people surveyed said they would choose hospital-level care at home, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Network. Around 17% said they would decline home-based hospital care. Approximately 40% of respondents thought hospital-at-home can be as good as in-facility care, while roughly a quarter said it was not. Nearly two-thirds of the adults surveyed said they would feel safe being treated at home.

Respondents also said they would be willing to assist in providing medical care to a loved one getting hospital care at home. About 82% said they would be able to manage medication on a schedule, more than two-thirds said they would provide wound care to a patient and nearly half said they would change a catheter.

The survey did not require participants to have prior experience with hospital-level care at home or knowledge of the service. It did provide participants with a brief explanation of how hospital-at-home programs operate.