Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home is expanding the home-based care continuum by growing its Home Hospital service to reach even more patients across the region. Having recently been granted authorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to expand Home Hospital, Mass General Brigham plans to implement operations starting in mid-September for patients at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Salem Hospital.
"We are incredibly proud of the impact that Home Hospital has had on its patients, as well as our care teams across Mass General Brigham,” said Heather O’Sullivan, MS, RN, A-GNP, president of Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home. “This expansion is an exciting opportunity to provide greater access to the integrated, high-quality care we offer to even more patients in our surrounding communities."
A recognized leader in the industry, Mass General Brigham currently operates one of the largest Home Hospitals in the country. Home Hospital provides acute care for patients at home who traditionally would need inpatient hospitalization. Mass General Brigham’s Home Hospital was formed in 2022, combining the successful hospital at home efforts in operation at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital since 2016.
Home Hospital care gained momentum in 2020 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver that provided federal regulatory and financial authorization for these programs to combat the COVID pandemic. Since then, Mass General Brigham has provided Home Hospital services to over 3,000 patients, shifting the site of care for 15,000 days that would have otherwise been spent inside hospital facilities. In 2023, the MGB Home Hospital has facilitated nearly 1,000 admissions to date and currently has a capacity for 33 patients with an eye toward near-term expansion to serve 45 patients daily.
Home Hospital provides a home-based alternative to a facility-based inpatient hospital stay by maximizing care and recovery time within the comfort of a patient’s home. More advanced than traditional home health services, Mass General Brigham Home Hospital patients receive comprehensive treatment that involves daily in-home or virtual visits. These will be from a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or physician, in collaboration with broader care from a team of paramedics, nurses, therapists, and home health aides. Services provided include intravenous fluids and medications, laboratory testing, oxygen, radiology studies, electrocardiograms, and ultrasounds directly in the home. All of this is supported by a 24/7 continuous remote patient monitoring platform that transmits a patient’s vital sign readings to their clinicians as well as a two-way text and video communication pathway that ensures continual access to a patient’s clinical team.
According to research led by David Levine, MD, MPH, clinical director of research and development at Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home, providing care at home results in improved quality outcomes, enhanced patient and employee experiences, and increased capacity and access to inpatient care. The program also provides greater visibility into a patient’s socioeconomic needs and offers additional resources to support their care.
“Being able to have that kind of vantage point, you can ensure greater health and safety of a patient as you’re tailoring their care plan to their personal environment,” said Stephen Dorner, MD, MPH, MSc, chief clinical and innovation officer for Mass General Brigham Healthcare at Home.
As the current capacity crisis continues to put strain on healthcare providers and facility-based hospitals, Home Hospital offers a care delivery model that increases facility hospital bed availability to treat the sickest patients requiring more complex care. Growing the Home Hospital will continue to be a strategic priority for Mass General Brigham as it exemplifies the value of well-integrated and patient-focused care. Over the next five years, the system expects to shift 10% of inpatient care at Brigham and Women’s, Mass General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Salem Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital to patients' homes.
Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.