An Integrated Mobile Acute Care Service Enhances Value
Medicine; Emergency Medicine; Healthcare Quality
Reducing the cost of care while enhancing its quality and experience are essential components to success in value-based care. Because emergency department (ED) and hospital settings represent high-cost environments, the authors sought to reduce their unnecessary use by deploying a novel care delivery service that offers mobile, on-demand care for high-acuity conditions in patient homes. This study is a retrospective quality improvement evaluation of the initial year of the mobile acute care model in a health system with a substantial penetration of value-based care. Although all patients were eligible for mobile services as clinically indicated, those in accountable care organizations were prioritized by the care management teams. A variety of operational, clinical, and financial metrics were assessed to determine the program's performance and value. There were 3436 patient encounters during the study period, a utilization rate of 71% that trended upward throughout the year. Of these visits, 44% involved patients in value-based payment models; 80% of these represented patients in Medicare risk agreements. Throughout the year, progressively improving operational and clinical performance were observed, as were consistently high patient satisfaction scores. An estimated 63.8% of total mobile visits resulted in ED avoidance; 21.6% were emergency medical transport avoidant; 14.1% led to avoided hospital observation or inpatient stays. Patients were highly satisfied with the service. In-home mobile care for high-acuity illness can prevent unnecessary ED and hospital use for some patients and is associated with high patient satisfaction. Acute mobile care is a useful component of a value-based care strategy.
Keywords: emergency department utilization; mobile care; value.
Artenstein AW, Stanaway N, Roy A, Westafer L, Lindenauer PK, Seiler AC, Coelho R, Prather M. An Integrated Mobile Acute Care Service Enhances Value. Popul Health Manag. 2020 Dec 9. doi: 10.1089/pop.2020.0289. Epub ahead of print.