It was not too long ago when only a handful of U.S. health systems invested in hospital-at-home programs, with Mount Sinai and Johns Hopkins Medicine being two of the very early adopters.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, that has changed – in a big way. Hospital-at-home alternatives are becoming table stakes for many systems, with some of the most recent examples of that trend being Atrium Health’s partnership with Best Buy and Contessa’s joint venture with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Sector titans such as Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente even went so far as to directly invest in hospital-at-home company Medically Home.
Now, new data from PA Consulting suggests this shift will continue long into the future.
“Our research highlights that the need for improving the patient experience, relieving pressure on the health care system, supporting health equity and reducing costs – all can be done through the move from hospital to home,” Vignesh Ramesh, digital health expert at PA Consulting, said in a statement.
By 2030, the global market for hospital to home will be worth $390.4 billion, according to PA Consulting. That’s an increase of $70 billion compared to today’s levels.
To better understand hospital-at-home trends, the firm surveyed 550 leaders across the public and private health care, med-tech and pharma landscapes.
Overall, 72% of those health care leaders said their organizations were prioritizing at-home care solutions. Seven in 10 of those individuals said their organization already has a strategy for migration from hospital to home.
In the U.S. specifically, 43% of leaders polled by PA Consulting said that their health care system actively provides at-home care solutions for patients. That figure is up from 35% before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the firm.
Two of the top drivers for hospital-at-home models are the need to trim health care spending and the desire to positively impact patients’ health.
Roughly half of U.S. respondents said that moving care from hospital to home will create savings by reducing hospital demand, with 68% saying increased hospital-at-home solutions will put a stop to rising health care costs. Nearly three out of every four leaders surveyed said hospital-at-home programs will have a “positive effect on our society’s health and well-being.”
“As budgets shrink and demand for flexible, personalized care grows, health care, med-tech and pharma leaders have an opportunity to build an ecosystem of care that benefits patients and providers,” Ramesh said.
There are still barriers to greater hospital-at-home adoption, however, and not all health care stakeholders have bought into the model.
Less than 30% of the health care leaders surveyed said that physicians are motivated to transition from hospital-based care into the home. Most of the hesitancy, according to PA Consulting, is due to patients’ providers being wary of underdeveloped infrastructure, with other concerns around technological and financial implications.
“[Providers] doubt that treatments delivered at home are as safe as those delivered in traditional settings,” PA Consulting explained in its research.