Innovation is becoming a key driver in reshaping patient experiences and outcomes. A recent study by Accenture highlights the significant impact of unnecessary ED visits among individuals with low health literacy, contributing to over $47 billion in avoidable medical spending annually. This underscores the urgency for solutions that assess individuals before they reach the ED and offer care in alternative settings. In a Managed Healthcare Executive article, Cheryl Dalton-Norman, president of Conduit, and David J. Muzina, interim chief medical officer at Medical Mutual, share the collaborative approach to health-at-home care, through Conduit’s nurse triage services, a transformative model that is changing the game in health care delivery.
The health-at-home market is on a projected growth trajectory of 7.2% annually, with an anticipated value of over $153 billion by 2029. As employers and health plans seek innovative ways to reduce health care costs, the concept of shifting care from the ED to the comfort of one’s home or another suitable site of care gains significant traction. This approach holds immense potential for enhancing value and elevating patient experiences.
The article considers the story of a 49-year-old man grappling with multiple health diagnoses. He’s experiencing intensified knee pain on a Sunday evening, stemming from an injury sustained two weeks ago. Traditionally, such a situation might have warranted an ED visit, especially on a weekend with limited care options. However, thanks to the collaboration between a health plan, a 24/7 nurse triage line, and an on-demand ambulatory care team, the man receives an evaluation at home, avoiding an unnecessary ED trip. This model, successfully implemented in Ohio, has enabled 50% to 60% of patients seen by the ambulatory team to bypass the ED while maintaining high patient satisfaction rates above 95%.
The success of this collaborative approach hinges on several key factors:
- Population Health Model: Tailoring programs not only to a population’s health needs but also to individual preferences fosters engagement and long-term self-management of health. Services bridging physician encounters identify care challenges preemptively, reducing unnecessary ED visits.
- Right Providers at Each Point: Initiating care with a registered nurse rather than an administrative assistant expedites decision-making, enhancing patient trust. Staffing an ambulatory team with medical professionals allows comprehensive treatment, including minor injuries and coordination with primary care providers.
- Emphasis on Convenience: Offering services during evenings and weekends, when traditional physician offices are closed, ensures timely intervention, continuity of care, and accessibility.
By aligning collaborative at-home care models with community health needs and key stakeholders’ business objectives, organizations can forge an innovative path that amplifies health outcomes, access, and satisfaction. As the health care landscape continues to transform, this approach showcases the power of synergy in shaping a healthier future.
Contact Conduit to learn how Health-at-Home care can create value for your organization.