The federal Acute Hospital Care at Home program introduced during the COVID-19 crisis appears to be working well, according to a new study.

The program, intended to free hospital beds at the height of the COVID pandemic while protecting non-COVID patients from exposure to the virus, enabled hospitals meeting certain Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services criteria to care for Medicare fee-for-service and non-managed care Medicaid patients in the home.  Participating patients were chosen according to CMS-approved safety criteria built around an assessment of the acuity of their medical conditions and whether they might reasonably be treated at home.

An analysis of more than 11,000 patients served in this manner, published in the JAMA Health Forum, found that

Patients who received care under AHCAH [Acute Hospital Care at Home] had a low mortality rate consistent with the hospital-at-home literature and minimal complications related to escalations back to the brick-and-mortar hospital.

Learn more about the program and its effectiveness in the JAMA Health Forum report “Initial Findings From an Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver Initiative.”