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Implementation of Home Hospitalization and Early Discharge as an Integrated Care Service: A Ten Years Pragmatic Assessment

19 May 2018

Home Hospitalization has proven efficacy, but its effectiveness and potential as an Integrated Care Service in a real world setting deserves to be explored.

Objective: To evaluate implementation and 10 years follow-up of Home Hospitalization and Early Discharge as an Integrated Care Service in an urban healthcare district in Barcelona.

Methods: Prospective study with pragmatic assessment. Patients: Surgical and medical acute and exacerbated chronic patients requiring admission into a highly specialized hospital, from 2006 to 2015. Intervention: Home-based individualized care plan, administered as a hospital-based outreach service, aiming at substituting hospitalization and implementing a transitional care strategy for optimal discharge. Main measurements: Emergency Department, readmissions and mortality. Patients’ and professionals’ perspectives, technologies and costs were evaluated.

Results: 4,165 admissions (71 ± 15 yrs; Charlson Index 4 ± 3). In-hospital stay was 1 (0–3) days and the length of home-based stay was 6 (5–7) days. The 30-day readmission rate was 11% and mortality was 2%. Patients, careers and health professionals expressed high levels of satisfaction (98%). At the start, the service was reimbursed at a flat rate of 918€ per patient discharged, significantly lower than conventional hospitalization (2,879€) but still allowing the hospital to keep a balanced budget. At present, there is no difference in the payment schemes for both types of services.

Conclusions: The service freed an average of 6 in-hospital days per patient. The program showed health value generation, as well as potential for synergies with community-based Integrated Care Services.

Published on 2018-05-16 13:39:09

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Integrated Care