Hospital-at-home strategies freed up 3,300 beds, Mayo Clinic says

Non-life-threatening conditions can now be treated from a patient's home, allowing hospital beds to go to those most in need. This strategy paid off for Mayo Clinic, and now payers are interested in making the "hospital-at-home" strategy commonplace, NPR reported Jan. 24.

Research from Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests that patients who are treated at home have better care outcomes than those treated in hospitals. Patients get readmitted less often and are more active when treated at home, researchers said.

Mayo Clinic began offering hospital-at-home care for patients with non-life-threatening conditions during the pandemic and saw success from the strategy, not just for patients but also for freeing up space in the hospital. Mayo Clinic said that 3,300 hospital beds have been opened up through the hospital-at-home strategy, according to NPR

The federal provision which allowed for the expansion of in-home care was initially temporary, but now payers are pushing lawmakers to make the service permanent. 

"Even if we're losing money because we're giving extra services, what's the cost of opening up a hospital bed for a cancer patient or a surgical patient who needs it more?" Michael Maniaci, MD, a physician at Mayo Clinic told NPR

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