News: CMS’ acute hospital care at home program showing signs of success, study suggests

CDI Strategies - Volume 18, Issue 8

The CMS Acute Hospital Care at Home (AHCAH) program is showing positive results for complex patients, said a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The program, according to Revenue Cycle Advisor, “allows approved Medicare-certified hospitals to treat patients at home with inpatient-level care.” As it currently stands, more than 300 hospitals in 37 states participate in the program.

The new study, “Acute hospital care at home in the United States: The early national experience," outlines the results of the AHCAH program. The report suggests that those participating in the AHCAH program “received care with low rates of mortality (0.5% during hospitalization and 3.2% at 30 days), escalation (6.2%), skilled-nursing facility use (2.6%), and readmission (15.6%).”

According to Revenue Cycle Advisor, patients participating in the AHCAH program possessed:

  • Dual eligibility
  • Disabilities
  • Dementia

“Patients receiving AHCAH were medically complex,” according to the study.

The mean HCC [hierarchical condition category] score was 3.15 (standard deviation, 2.06), 42.5% had heart failure, 43.3% had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 22.1% had cancer, and 16.1% had dementia. The five most common discharge diagnoses were heart failure, respiratory infection (including COVID-19), sepsis, kidney or urinary tract infection, and cellulitis.

Though the study strongly suggested net positive results for participants in the program, the authors nevertheless noted that the study possessed limitations. The most significant among them being that the results of the study are “generalizable only to AHCAH within traditional Medicare.”

Editor’s note: To read the Revenue Cycle Advisor coverage, click here. To read the study itself, click here.

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