As a home-based care provider, Nascentia Health was already well-versed in delivering care outside of brick-and-mortar settings. Armed with this experience, the company teamed up with a partner to offer hospital-level care in the home.
In 2022, Nascentia Health partnered with its local state hospital and formed a hospital-at-home program made possible by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver.
“The patients are still in a hospital inpatient stay,” Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay, chief clinical officer at Nascentia Health, said earlier this month during a presentation at the annual LeadingAge conference. “The hospital is getting the DRG, but [the patients] are able to use the bed at home, so it’s as if they were on any other floor unit.”
Nascentia Health is a home-focused health care organization based in Syracuse, New York.
Through its hospital-at-home program, Nascentia Health provides nursing, in-person and virtual provider visits, ECG monitoring, laboratory testing, some point-of-care testing and more. In total, the program had more than 100 patients this year.
One thing that sets Nascentia Health’s hospital-at-home program apart from others across the country is its involvement. Hospitals will sometimes try to implement these programs without partnering with an organization that has experience providing care in the home, according to Lazarek-LaQuay.
“They use their own staff, they try to mobilize all of that,” she said. “Have you ever tried to take a hospital nurse, or social worker and put them in the community in someone’s home? It does not always work well. Home care is something that you have to be comfortable with.”
At Nascentia Health, they were able to leverage experienced home-based care clinicians.
“It was a lot easier to take a home- and community-based nurse and elevate them and their assessment skills to that of an acute care nurse, and allow them to care for individuals in their home,” Lazarek-LaQuay said.
Strong partnerships are another key element of running a successful hospital-at-home program.
“Working in the community, we know who those strong community partners are and who we’re going to be able to rely on,” Lazarek-LaQuay said. “What does that mean? It means who we want to be able to have come and do an affordable X-ray or sauna. We’ve had several of those things done while our patients are in the home.”
Nascentia Health’s embrace of technology has also been a key strategy for driving efficiency throughout the program, according to Lazarek-LaQuay.
“Being able to leverage technology to reduce caregiver burden makes the work go further,” she said. “More AI is coming to health care, and how we’re able to leverage that is going to be amazing.”