With a growing hospital-at-home program, popular in-home primary care line and connections to an innovative palliative care model, CareMore Health is all-in on health care’s shift toward home.
And now CareMore — part of Anthem Inc. — is sharing some survey stats to back up its home-focused strategy.
CareMore is an integrated health plan and care delivery system for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid patients in Arizona, California, Nevada, Virginia, Tennessee, Iowa, Connecticut, Georgia and Texas.
On Tuesday, Cerritos, California-based CareMore released a survey that found the return of house calls could lead to higher quality and more accessible care for people who are chronically ill. Beyond house calls, the survey also generally highlighted consumers’ preference for and appreciation for home-based care.
Overall, the survey — conducted by The Harris Poll — found that 64% of adults are interested in house calls. For the adults surveyed, this means a health care professional visiting a home-bound or chronically ill patient’s home to provide medical care, medication consultations and check-ups.
More than 2,000 U.S. adults participated in the survey.
“This was a validation of this intuitive fact that we’ve known for a long time,” Dr. Sachin Jain, president and CEO at CareMore, told Home Health Care News. “Patients and families would like to explore receiving services that they would otherwise receive in an institutional setting at home.”
Aside from gauging the overall interest in house calls, the survey revealed that 92% of adults believe that the quality of care provided in-home would be better.
“I think this is because of the historic expectation around house calls,” Dr. Jain said. “When we think of really great service, we think about things that come to us … so it’s not surprising to me that, in a health care context, people would perceive [care services] coming to them as being positive.”
The survey also highlighted the potential support that house calls could provide informal, family caregivers.
Among respondents who stated they are serving as a caregiver for a chronically ill person, 63% said it is difficult to care for someone else while maintaining their own responsibilities. Eight out of 10 caregivers expressed interest in the concept of the house call, with more than half believing in-home care would be better than in the office.
Roughly 44 million people step in as informal caregivers in the U.S. This population of people includes spouses, partners, friends or family members who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) and possibly even medical tasks, according to San Francisco-based nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance.
Furthermore, the CareMore survey found that 79% of adults believe that people would be able to manage their health better if consultations with their health care providers took place in the home setting.
More than 40% of the adults surveyed believe that house calls lead to more personal attention from health care providers. Another 44% said they were more likely to follow the advice of an in-home care provider, and 43% said they would be more likely to stay on top of their medication plans.
“My guess is that this comes from the view that a house call would probably feel less rushed and robotic than a lot of office visits feel to many patients and their family members,” Jain said. “All of us have had the experience of going to the doctor’s office, waiting an hour and a half to see a specialist, and then the physician coming in for a grand total of seven minutes.”
Additional reporting by Robert Holly.