DispatchHealth’s Advanced Care program — a home-based alternative to hospital care — was able to lower 30-day readmission rates, checking in at almost 50% below the national average.
That’s one of the key takeaways from a recent DispatchHealth study, which detailed the outcomes of the company’s Advanced Care program over the course of an 18-month period.
The study examined 1,000 patients from January 2021 to July 2023. The average age of the patients in the program was 76 years old.
“We wanted to make sure that we had accumulated enough evidence around efficacy to be credible,” Dr. Patrick Kneeland, vice president of medical affairs at DispatchHealth, told Home Health Care News. “We knew pretty early on, in our experience, that this was a game changer. It was obvious to me, and our other other team members, that this was safe, effective and high-quality care for patients and their families. At the same time, we want to continue to prove that in a quantitative way over time.”
Originally launched as an in-home urgent care startup, Denver-based DispatchHealth delivers high-acuity care, including hospital-level care, in the home. The company operates across 30 states in the U.S.
DispatchHealth’s Advanced Care program delivers high-acuity care in the home specifically.
“What distinguishes our model from most of the others that are out there is that, the capabilities DispatchHealth has to evaluate patients through the lens of urgent or emergency type care, allows patients to access this model of care without having to go to a hospital first,” Kneeland said. “That’s unique.”
Aside from reducing 30-day readmission rates, the Advanced Care program also saw zero serious safety events. Kneeland noted that this result was a “foundational aspect” of this care delivery model.
The study also found that the Advanced Care program had a 0% unexpected mortality rate, a +93 patient net promoter score and a 0.3% 30-day skilled-nursing facility admission rate.
“Because patients are in their home and never are in the hospital, we’re able to really impact things like mobility during the high-acuity illness, patients sticking to their typical routine, etc.,” Kneeland said. “That allows for the avoidance of the necessity for rehab post-hospital stay, because patients don’t get the deconditioning that is so common in a hospital. We’re able to avoid a lot of the post-acute need for things like skilled-nursing facilities.”
Additionally, the study found that the Advanced Care program had amounted to $500,000-$700,000 in total medical costs savings, on average.
Ultimately, Kneeland believes this study proves the importance of developing and evolving safe models of care that allow patients to remain in their homes.
“There’s an opportunity here to continue to safely expand the types of high-acuity care that we’re able to provide in the home,” he said. “You can do a lot of this care completely outside of the walls of the hospital.”