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Acute Care Makes Itself at Home

 |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   October 29, 2015

The shift to value-based care could lead to expanded hospital-level acute care in patients' homes.

This article appears in the October 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

For patients in need of the level of care and interventions given in an acute care setting, the hospital is often the only option. And while necessary to handle acute exacerbations of illnesses, hospital admissions can lead to the development of a host of other problems for patients.

"We all know that hospitals can be very dangerous places for older adults," says Amy Berman, BS, RN, senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, a New York City–based private philanthropy working to improve the health of older Americans. "They commonly experience things like functional decline, complications, and other adverse events when they're inpatient," she says.

According to data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, in 2008 an estimated 13.5% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse events during hospitalization, and an additional 13.5% experienced adverse events that resulted in temporary harm.

The John A. Hartford Foundation has been working to find a solution to hospital-induced complications among geriatric patients since 1995, when it began working with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and dedicating funds and other resources to support the creation, study, and dissemination of a safe, high-quality, cost-effective alternative to inpatient acute care that is now known as the Hospital at Home model. 


Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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