Mayo Clinic launching program to provide hospital care at home

The platform did not start because of COVID-19, but it could help in the medical system’s response to the virus.
Jun. 25, 2020

Mayo Clinic is launching a new home care program, designed to give hospital patients the option to be treated from home through in-person and virtual care.

Patients in the program can receive infusions, skilled nursing, medications, laboratory services, behavioral health and rehabilitation services from a network of paramedics and nurses under the direction of Mayo Clinic physicians, a news release said. 

Hospital patients who are sick enough to be in the hospital, but not enough to require an intensive care unit stay, invasive procedures, or imaging, are ideal candidates for the program, said Dr. Michael Maniaci, Mayo Clinic Florida’s lead for the new program, in an email.

That could include patients with congestive heart failure, pneumonia, cellulitis and others that would require routine labs, medication and monitoring.

The program initially will launch in Jacksonville and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

It will start with three to five patients, but by the end of the first year, is expected to grow to a capacity of 35 to 45 patients. The program will start July 6. 

Planning for the program began in late 2019.  Although the program was not created because of COVID-19, it will be beneficial to those who are fearful of a hospital setting or trying to reduce their time outside of their homes. 

“While we have taken steps to make our hospital as safe as possible, we do want to honor patient requests and many of our patients are asking for the ability to receive care using virtual capabilities,” Maniaci said. 

With patients able to receive hospital care from home, it frees up hospital resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, other possible outbreaks or large events.

It is part of Mayo Clinic Platform, a “coordinated portfolio approach to create new platform ventures and leverage emerging technologies.”

The Mayo Clinic Platform is partnering with Medically Home, a Boston-based remote care service, to launch the program. 

Mayo Clinic made “significant investments” in the company, which offers a platform to shift medical care to patients’ homes and provides a network of in-home care services. It would not disclose the amount of the investment. 

“Offering comprehensive, acute and restorative level care to patients in the comfort and safety of the home is an expectation of patients,” John Halamka, president, Mayo Clinic Platform, said in a release.

“Advances in technology and platform business models allow us to give patients the next generation of medical care and experience consumers expect. It is a shifting paradigm in the health care system and Mayo Clinic intends to lead this new option for patients,” he said.