CMS’s ‘Hospital Care at Home’ Expansion Underscores Importance of HCA-HANYS-IHA Collaborative

Situation Report | December 7, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week that it is expanding hospitals’ ability to provide certain services in patients’ homes. The move is in response to a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the U.S.

Earlier this spring, CMS provided broad regulatory flexibility that allowed hospitals to provide services in locations beyond the hospital walls, called the “Hospital Without Walls” program. CMS is now expanding this concept into an “Acute Hospital Care at Home” program targeted to individuals who require acute inpatient admission to a hospital but who could receive that care at home, requiring at least daily rounding by a physician and a medical team.

CMS “differentiates the delivery of the acute hospital care at home from traditional home health services,” noting that the program expansion is intended for beneficiaries “who require acute inpatient admission.”

More reason to participate in Hospital-Home Care Collaboration

HCA has already established some important groundwork for home care’s coordination with hospitals through a partnership with the Healthcare Association of New York State and the Iroquois Healthcare Association. At a time when CMS is expanding its Hospital Care at Home initiative, our grant-funded “Statewide Hospital-Home Care Collaborative for COVID and Beyond” has been making the case — to hospitals, home care and hospice providers — about the opportunity and imperative of jointly delivering care in ways that reflect the unique competencies and role of each setting.

We’ve also been providing you tools and resources to assist, including a series of webinars featuring hospital and home care collaborative models as well as a new resource page with clinical tools, protocols, studies, and more.

Upcoming Webinars

There are two more webinars in our Collaborative series and you can register for these or watch archives of our prior six webinars here.