RI DOH Approves Request for First-Ever Hospital-at-Home Pilot Program
(Providence, RI) – Today, Monday, November 16, 2021, Kent Hospital’s request to offer the state’s first-ever Hospital-at-Home program has been approved by the Rhode Island Department of Health. The Program, also approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is designed to provide patients with acute hospital-level care in a patient’s home.
“There are many strains that are putting hospitals throughout the country near—or at—capacity for patient care,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Kent Hospital has presented a comprehensive plan that details how eligible patients will receive the clinical care and ancillary services they need in a place that is familiar, comfortable, and conducive to healing. This is a model that other hospitals can replicate as we explore innovative ways to bring quality care to all Rhode Islanders in the most appropriate setting.”
“As a geriatrician, to be able to offer acute hospital-level care at home for our older adults who prefer it, after years of seeing the adverse outcomes of multiple transitions of care for older adults, is amazing. I’m so proud of the work Kent Hospital has done to become an Age-Friendly Health system, and now the first hospital in RI to be able to offer Acute Hospital Care at Home. Care at home is the future, and the Kent team looks forward to building this option and sharing lessons learned with other systems of care both local and national”: Ana Tuya Fulton, MD, MBA, Executive Chief of Geriatrics & Palliative Care, Care New England; Health System Chief Medical Officer, Integra Community Care Network)
Hospital-at-Home programs provide more direct contact and clinical oversight of patients than what is available through typical home care services. Patients are only admitted to the Program from Emergency Departments and inpatient hospital beds, and an in-person physician evaluation is required before starting services at home. Other requirements of the program include:
Clinical care must include a visit from a registered nurse at least once a day, at least two in-person daily visits by a registered nurse or mobile integrated health paramedic, and once-daily check-in with a physician.
The patient must have immediate, remote audio technology that can connect the patient with the Hospital-at-Home care team.
If a patient’s condition declines and they need care at the hospital, the emergency response must be able to get to the patient’s home within 30 minutes.
The hospital must report monthly to CMS on establishing quality metrics.
Kent Hospital will be only the third hospital in New England that has been approved to have a Hospital-at-Home Program. The other two hospitals are Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston.
Kent Hospital, aCare New England Hospital, is a 359-bed, acute care hospital. It is Rhode Island’s second-largest hospital, serving approximately 300,000 residents of central Rhode Island.
A teaching affiliate of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kent offers programs inEmergency Medicine,Family Medicine,Internal Medicine,and anUndersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship. Kent’s redesignedEmergency Department(ED) sees approximately 70,000 patients a year and ranks Kent’s ED volume among the top 10-percent nationally. It was the first hospital in the state to eliminate the practice of ambulance diversion.