New York State Health Foundation

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Home Aide Service of Eastern New York, Inc., dba Eddy Visiting Nurse Association

  • Project Title: The Medical House Call Model: Caring for Homebound, Chronically Ill Patients
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Grant Amount: $399,920
  • Date Awarded: November 2, 2012
  • Region: Capital Region
  • Website: http://www.nehealth.com/Home_Care/
  • Grant Status: Complete

Overview

By 2030, the number of permanently homebound individuals in the U.S. will increase by 50% to reach 2 million. These highest-need and sickest patients are also the ones who bear the greatest financial burden on the health care system. In 2011, Samaritan Hospital privately launched a small home-based care pilot program to determine whether a medical house call service could help patients with frequent hospital readmissions. The results were promising—the majority of patients were not re-hospitalized, and the conclusion was that the medical house call model warrants further study on a larger scale. In 2012, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Eddy Visiting Nurse Association (Eddy VNA) and its affiliate St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates to test the medical house call model in four upstate New York counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga.

Grantee: Home Aide Service of Eastern New York, Inc. / Eddy Visiting Nurse Association (The Eddy)

Dates: November 2012 – April 2015

Grant Amount: $399,920

Grantee Website: www.nehealth.com/Home_Care/

Grant ID: 12-01257


Outcomes and Lessons Learned:

  • Recruited three medical doctors and two nurse practitioners, retaining four out of five providers by the end of the grant;
  • Showed a 24% reduction emergency room visits and a 15% reduction in hospitalizations for patients;
  • Prevented unnecessary emergency room visits/inpatient stays, totaling an estimated $78,000 in emergency room cost savings and $1,220,000 in hospitalization cost savings;
  • Recorded a high patient/caregiver satisfaction rate (97% would recommend the program, 90% said program improved quality of life, and 86% said program allowed them to remain at home over nursing home placement);
  • Implemented an online, interactive home-based primary care curriculum in July 2015; and
  • Integrated this program with primary care practices participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Although the current, largely fee-for-service reimbursement system does not sustain the medical house call model, the Eddy Memorial Foundation continues to fund program because of its effective outcomes. However, the model is ready and easily scalable for a larger-size program as payment models shift.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: The Eddy Memorial Foundation (The Eddy) contributed nearly $790,000 to this project during the grant period. To date, The Eddy continues to provide funding for this program to keep it operational.


House Calls Help Homebound Patients Reconnect with Primary Care

Dr. Kevin Dooley uses a silver 2006 Volkswagen Jetta as his office. It’s not that Dooley, a family physician for more than 15 years, can’t find the office space in the Albany region—rather, his vehicle is what gets him to the homes of the 15–20 patients he sees each week through the Home Visiting Physicians program administered by St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates (SPHPMA) and its affiliate, the Eddy Visiting Nurse Association (EVNA). Read more.