Hospital-at-Home Holdouts: Why In-Home Care Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Posted Saturday, April 3, 2021

CMS created a COVID-19 inspired relief measure called the “Acute Hospital Care at Home” waiver this past November.

Hospital-at-home programs try to provide acute, hospital quality care in the home instead of a hospital, which is more expensive.  Programs try to identify eligible patients whose medical needs can be cared for in the home setting through coordinated nursing and clinician visits, plus necessary testing, and treatment.

This model is perfect for the growing preference for home-based care instead of institutional settings.

“I think CMS wanted to develop something that was relatively simple, relatively understandable, relatively uncomplicated in terms of what the payment would look like,” Dr. Bruce Leff, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Home Health Care News. “What they chose to do is basically create a process where hospitals that could attest to being able to provide hospital-at-home services … would be able to get paid a standard hospital DRG payment in a fee-for-service context.”

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