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Home Hospital staff member, Patricia Thompson, RN and Thomas Balcezak, MD, YNHHS chief clinical officer

Home Hospital staff member, Patricia Thompson, RN, shows Thomas Balcezak, MD, YNHHS chief clinical officer, around “mission control” of the Home Hospital program based in Stratford.


Home is where the hospital is

Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) has officially launched its Home Hospital program, which provides hospital-level care to patients in their homes. The program went live June 7 and currently serves patients who live within 25 miles of Bridgeport and Yale New Haven hospitals.

Through a combination of in-person visits and telehealth technology, the program brings a range of hospital services to the homes of patients with heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cellulitis, sepsis and other conditions.

Currently, the Home Hospital program serves Medicare patients meeting certain clinical and social criteria and will expand to other insurances soon. Yale New Haven is partnering with a private company, Medically Home, to provide the program, which is expected to expand to other YNHHS hospitals in the future.

“Many patients prefer to be cared for in their homes,” said Olukemi Akande, MD, physician executive director, Post-Acute Care, and Home Hospital program physician co-lead with Scott Sussman, MD, physician executive director, Telehealth. “With the growth of telehealth and other mobile health technologies, we can provide a high level of care and be available to these patients 24/7.”

How does it work?

Each patient receives a physician video visit once a day through a Wi-Fi-enabled tablet; patients also receive in-person visits from a nurse twice a day, plus additional physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse home visits as needed.

Other healthcare professionals provide in-home IV therapy; physical, occupational and speech therapy; blood draws; mobile diagnostic services such as X-rays, ultrasounds and EKGs; and social work and nutrition services. Many services are available immediately for urgent situations.

A Home Hospital “mission control” is staffed 24/7 by medical professionals who remotely monitor patients and handle patients’ and family members’ questions or concerns. In addition, each patient has a personal emergency response device.

The Home Hospital difference

The daily physician video visits and twice-daily nursing visits are two ways the Home Hospital program differs from traditional home-care services that YNHHS provides through its Home Care Plus (HCP) and Home Care Plus South Central Connecticut (HCPSCC).

The Home Hospital program provides acute care – care for illnesses that come on quickly and require more immediate treatment – to patients who are sick enough to be in the hospital. Patients are in the program for two to six days, on average, then return to the care of their primary care physician.

HCP and HCPSCC provide post-acute care, often after a patient is discharged from the hospital. A patient’s care plan usually includes one to three home visits a week by a nurse, along with physical, occupational, speech and IV therapy and other services as needed. Post-acute care usually lasts up to 60 days.

The number of home hospital programs has grown dramatically nationwide since 2020, initially freeing up hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.

“Telehealth is helping us rethink the way we provide care for patients who would otherwise be in the hospital,” Dr. Sussman said. “We believe we can provide the same high-quality care in patients’ homes and enhance their experience by caring for them in familiar surroundings.”

Read more about Home Hospital, watch the video or call the referral line at 203-850-6494 or 1-855-440-1980.