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United Health Services helps COVID-19 patients recuperate at home

Recent studies have found that COVID-19 patients convalescing at home show improved recovery and outcomes, emphasizing the benefits home health treatment offers to patients. In 2020, United Health Services launched its “Hospital Care at Home” program, which enables COVID-19 patients meeting certain criteria to be treated in the comfort of their own home.  

United Health Services’ Hospital Care at Home program was developed by the hospital’s clinical team and allows a COVID-19 patient with another pre-existing condition — such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity — to recover at home, under physician supervision, after the person has been discharged from the hospital.

This option is better for the patient, giving them a chance to receive care in a familiar, comfortable setting, and better for the institution, freeing up hospital beds that are needed for other patients during the ongoing pandemic. Patients receive tailored medical treatment, including access to medical care from the Hospital Care at Home team and other resources.

In the program, a family member or caregiver serves as the patient’s support person, assisting with virtual visits and medication, and helping the provider keep an eye on the patient’s health status and progress. In most cases, the only medical equipment needed at bedside are a thermometer and a pulse oximeter, which the hospital provides.

To date, the program has cared for a total of 54 patients. Four of those have been discharged directly from the emergency room rather than from a hospital room. Typically, home monitoring ends after seven days if the patient is doing well, and they are then referred back to their own primary care provider for any follow-up care needed. This at-home care option has improved patient satisfaction. Program leaders have received positive, enthusiastic feedback from patients since Hospital Care at Home was launched. 

For more information, contact Carrie Davis, director, community relations, at carrie.davis@nyuhs.org or (607) 762-2804.