Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah presented the first outcomes evaluation of an adult oncology hospital-at-home program during the ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program (Abstract 7000). The study evaluated patients participating in HCI's Huntsman at Home program. The data demonstrated strong evidence for the benefits of this care model, showing improved patient outcomes, including reduced hospitalizations and decreased visits to the emergency department.
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Huntsman at Home
Huntsman at Home was launched in 2018 as a way to bring quality care to patients with cancer in their homes. The service combines research and clinical expertise for in-person and remote patient and caregiver support and acute-level clinical treatment. A team of oncology professionals deliver care, following best-practice standards. Currently, Huntsman at Home is available to patients living within a 20-mile radius of the flagship hospital in Salt Lake City.
Services range from symptom management to acute medical, postsurgical, and end-of-life care. The Huntsman at Home team is led by HCI nurse practitioners working in conjunction with HCI oncologists and is operated in partnership with Community Nursing Services, a home health and hospice agency that provides registered nurses for the team. Other cancer care specialists, such as social workers and physical therapists, contribute to patient care.
Methods and Findings
Researchers evaluated outcomes over 14 months for 367 patients with cancer, 169 of whom participated in Huntsman at Home and 198 control patients who qualified for the program but lived outside the service area. Patients with several types of cancer and at various stages of cancer were evaluated.
During the first 30 days of enrollment, Huntsman at Home patients were 58% less likely to be admitted for an unplanned hospital stay, and those who were admitted to the hospital had a shorter length of stay. Huntsman at Home patients had 48% less emergency department visits. They also had 48% lower cumulative charges for clinical services when compared to controls. Results over 90 days were similar.
“These findings strongly support our hypothesis that Huntsman at Home's high-quality, acute-level cancer care using a hospital-at-home model improves outcomes while simultaneously improving value,” said lead study author Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, Interim Senior Director of Population Sciences at HCI and Distinguished Professor of Nursing at the University of Utah, in a statement.
Dr. Mooney and her colleagues plan to continue evaluating outcomes of patients participating in this program. They are also working to implement a geographic expansion of Huntsman at Home in late summer 2020, extending care to several Utah rural counties.
The study authors concluded, “In the first reported trial of an adult oncology hospital-at-home program, there was strong evidence for reduced hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and cost. Oncology hospital-at-home programs show promise for increased patient-centered care while simultaneously improving value.”
Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit coi.asco.org.The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.