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Home Hospital Emergency Care

With Home Hospital Emergency Care, you'll get the same level of care you'd receive in the emergency department, but in the comfort of your own home. Home Hospital Emergency Care is available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

medical provider sitting with elderly patient in their home while holding up a mobile device

Emergency care delivered in your home

Mass General Brigham is committed to delivering emergency-level care in the place where patients and their families feel their best — in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.

The mission of Home Hospital Emergency Care (HHEC) is to bring the highest quality diagnostics and treatments directly to you, allowing you to skip the stress and inconvenience of a trip to the emergency department or urgent care center. We're committed to ensuring that you receive the care you need, safely and effectively.

How Home Hospital Emergency Care works

When an acute health concern arises, call your primary care provider (PCP). They will evaluate your situation and decide whether they can see you in their clinic or whether you will need to be seen in the emergency department. As an alternative to the emergency department, your PCP may suggest at-home care with our HHEC team.

If you are unable to reach your PCP or you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If your doctor determines that Home Hospital Emergency Care is the right option for you, they will submit a referral to our care team on your behalf. Once received, our HHEC team will promptly contact you to arrange an at-home visit. This visit will include a specially trained paramedic and a board-certified emergency medicine physician who will assess your condition. During the visit, the paramedic will conduct an in-person assessment at your home, while you'll have a real-time video consultation with a Mass General Brigham emergency physician. The paramedic will bring all necessary equipment to check vital signs, perform a physical exam, collect blood samples, administer medications as needed, and more, based on your specific needs.

If treatment is recommended, it will be administered in the comfort of your home. However, if your care team determines that hospital admission or further testing is necessary for your condition, you will be promptly transported to a traditional Mass General Brigham emergency department facility.

Common conditions we treat

Our Home Hospital Emergency Care team cares for a wide range of acute medical conditions that can be managed outside of a traditional hospital setting. Some of the most common conditions treated through Home Hospital Emergency Care include:

  • Respiratory infections, such as the flu, COVID-19, bronchitis, or pneumonia

  • Asthma or COPD exacerbations

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Skin infections, including cellulitis

  • Gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting or diarrhea

  • Dehydration requiring intravenous (IV) fluids

  • Management of chronic conditions, like congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), when they suddenly flare up

Services we offer

We offer a range of services designed to provide comprehensive emergency care in the comfort of your own home. Our offerings include:

  • A visit from a specially trained paramedic trained to provide comprehensive health care at your location

  • Virtual assessment by an experienced emergency medicine physician

  • Monitoring of your vital signs

  • Thorough physical examination to assess your overall health and well-being

  • Convenient in-home testing, including point-of-care blood and urine testing, for prompt diagnosis and treatment

  • 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECGs) and in-home imaging studies, as needed

  • Administration of intravenous fluids and medications when necessary

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for Home Hospital Emergency Care, patients must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years or older

  • Have an acute medical need requiring a same-day emergency department or urgent care visit

  • Be stable enough to wait at home for care to be provided

  • Be located in a secure, private residence, such as a house or apartment, within the Mass General Brigham Home Hospital Emergency Care geographic area

HHEC is currently involved in a randomized controlled trial to study its effectiveness. Patients enrolled in the program will either receive a home visit or be referred to the emergency department at a hospital for traditional emergency care. 

Home Hospital Emergency Care Patient Stories

Read these patients' stories about receiving emergency care in their homes without a trip to the emergency department.

looking over the shoulder of woman holding a mobile device on a virtual call with a doctor

Frequently asked questions

If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department directly. Otherwise, patients should first reach out to their primary care provider when an acute medical need arises. PCPs may recommend they receive emergency care from Home Hospital Emergency Care rather than in a traditional hospital setting. Your doctor will evaluate your situation and decide whether a visit to the emergency department is necessary or if our HHEC team can provide care for you at home.

Yes. Home Hospital Emergency Care ensures patients receive expert-level care equivalent to what they would receive in an emergency department, all within the comfort of their own home. If your care team determines that your condition requires treatment at a brick-and-mortar facility, they will facilitate your transfer accordingly.

Your Home Hospital Emergency Care team will facilitate your transfer by ambulance to a Mass General Brigham emergency department, if needed.

Home Hospital Emergency Care will be billed to your insurance as a virtual clinic visit, similar to a primary care virtual visit.

At this time, patients can also be seen at assisted living facilities, short-term rentals, and hotels. We are unable to accommodate patients residing at skilled nursing facilities. 

The length of the home visit varies, but it is typically completed within 30-60 minutes. 

We will provide an at-home visit, similar to an urgent care or emergency department visit and then recommend appropriate follow up care in conjunction with your primary medical team. If your condition worsens after your visit has ended, please call your doctor, go to your nearest emergency department, or call 911. 

Currently, HHEC is only available to patients whose PCPs are within Mass General Brigham.

Mass General Brigham providers: Refer a patient to Home Hospital Emergency Care

Mass General Brigham providers can access instructions on patient eligibility and how to refer a patient. This page is not public and will not be accessible for anyone outside of the Mass General Brigham system.

female provider in scrubs smiling and opening door to patient's home