Dr. David M Levine, MD, MPH and colleagues published the results of an intensive study aimed to determine how in home hospital level care would affect costs commonly associated with hospital visits. The results were encouraging, to say the least, especially when the numbers are taken into account.
The study focused on twenty patients, so it wasn’t a comprehensive research project. The patients were chosen at random and nine were assigned to home care while 11 were designated to receive the same basic care, but in a hospital setting. The individuals who were at home received a minimum of one visit from a physician per day and two nursing visits. What the research found was that even though they were receiving the same level of care and support as their hospitalized counterparts, there were significantly fewer orders for laboratory work than with those in the control environment (the hospitalized men and women).
According to a Medscape blog, ‘Home Hospital’ Halves Costs in Small Randomized Trial, written by Marcia Frellick:
“Findings from the first pilot randomized controlled trial of in-home, hospital-level care in the United States show sharply lower costs compared with usual hospital care, with no reduction in quality or safety.
David M. Levine, MD, MPH, a physician and researcher in the division of general internal medicine and primary care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues published the results online Wednesday in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
In the study, nine patients were randomly assigned to home care and 11 to usual in-hospital care. The average cost for an acute care episode for patients in the home-care group was 52% (interquartile range [IQR], 28%; P = .05) lower than for patients in the usual-care group.”
It was also noted that there were no adverse events that took place for the in home care patients compared to those who were treated in a hospital setting. Dr. Levine noted that the health care industry hasn’t effectively changed the way it treats acutely ill patients for more than a century and that can and often has led to some unintended consequences.
It has also led to an increase in the overall cost of hospital stays. By helping people stay home and still receive optimal medical attention, it not only helps to lower the cost of care by almost half in most cases, it also allows those patients the opportunity to be surrounded by a more comfortable environment, which could have a dramatic positive impact on their overall outlook and mindset.
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