Some hospitals are dusting off an old practice from the past—house calls—for components to their palliative care programs, reports The New York Times.
House calls are returning to favor primarily for the goals they set out to achieve in providing better person-centered treatment and reducing costs.
Though palliative care also occurs in hospitals, an added emphasis on home care has been a “selling point” for both health care providers and patients, the article notes.
“Home care is general cheaper than hospital care, and for more than a decade, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid have worked to create incentives for hospitals to switch to less-expensive treatment,” writes The New York Times.
To further this point, the article also references a 2007 study financed by the Kaiser Permanente Garfield Memorial Fund, which found that palliative care patients who received in-home, interdisciplinary care were less likely to visit the emergency room or be admitted to the hospital than those receiving more-standard home care—thus, resulting in lower costs.
Several institutions, such as Mount Sinai Hospital Massachusetts General Hospital, among others spotlighted in the article, implement house calls into their palliative care programs and have begun to see results in terms of improving patient quality of life while also avoiding costly procedures.
Read more at The New York Times.
Written by Jason Oliva