Humana taps DispatchHealth to provide hospital-level care in the home

These services will be available in Denver, CO, and Tacoma, WA, with expansion to additional markets in Texas, Arizona and Nevada later this year.

Humana - DispatchHealth

Humana is teaming-up with in-home medical care provider DispatchHealth to provide its members with access to an advanced level of care in the home — to help enhance patients’ experience and health outcomes. These services will be available in Denver, Colo., and Tacoma, Wash., with expansion to additional markets in Texas, Arizona and Nevada planned for later this year.

The agreement will provide members living with multiple chronic conditions — such as cellulitis, kidney and urinary tract infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure and many others — an opportunity to be treated safely at home and thereby avoid hospital visits.

Why does it matter?

Last November, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a waiver program to allow qualified health care providers to offer acute, hospital-level care in the home. The Dispatch-Humana agreement is believed to be the country’s first program to provide hospital-level care involving a national payer.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Humana has seen a substantial increase in demand for in-home care. Some members – especially older adults with multiple chronic conditions – are seeking care at home to reduce their chance of exposure to the virus. Humana members who meet the clinical admission criteria will have access to an on-call dedicated DispatchHealth medical team, which includes an internal medicine trained physician with ER experience, and a physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Patients receive 24/7 physician coverage with remote monitoring, an emergency call button, and daily visits from DispatchHealth’s medical team, including bedside nursing.

Social determinants of health are the life circumstances and environments that impact a person’s health and well-being, including food insecurity, social isolation, loneliness and housing instability. The pandemic is exacerbating many behavioral, social and nutritional challenges.

DispatchHealth’s unique model and technology empower clinical care and coordination of other critical services, such as pharmacy and meal deliveries, physical and respiratory therapy, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) access and imaging services.

On the record

“The agreement enhances Humana’s holistic approach to patient care and empowers clinicians to go beyond traditional clinical treatment,” said Susan Diamond, President of Humana’s Home Business. “Humana and DispatchHealth are focused on improving the overall home care experience and health outcomes by allowing individuals to remain at home while also empowering the medical team to identify and address patient needs, including social determinants of health.”

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that our most vulnerable patients have access to care and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions,” said Mark Prather, CEO of DispatchHealth. “Our Advanced Care services safely provide in-home medical care for acutely ill patients requiring multiple days of treatment. The natural link between our on-demand service offering and Advanced Care delivers on the vision of a hospital-like setting without walls. We look forward to expanding our relationship with our forward-thinking partner, Humana.”

The context

Since launching in 2013, DispatchHealth, has delivered high-acuity care to over 220,000 patients in the home and saved over $227 million in medical costs. In addition to Advanced Care, DispatchHealth offers on-demand care services to treat simple to complex injuries and illnesses in more than 29 cities and is rapidly expanding to new cities across the country. Patients can request a care visit by contacting DispatchHealth via phone, website, or their mobile app, and a medical team will arrive within two hours. DispatchHealth is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays.

According to the CDC’s data, 56% of adults age 65 years and older have two or more chronic conditions. Research has also shown that 63% of U.S. adults prefer to receive care at home.