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Care in the home – the future of healthcare?

13 May 2021, by Amy Sarcevic

A partnership between Medibank and Calvary is putting patients first and providing quality care at home, setting a precedent for how healthcare is funded into the future.

My Home Hospital (MHH), a South Australian state government service led by Wellbeing SA and delivered by a joint venture between Calvary and Medibank, gives patients the option to receive care – from doctors, nurses, and allied health practitioners – in the comfort of their own home.

The service, available at no charge to eligible public patients across metropolitan Adelaide, uses remote monitoring technology to stay in touch with patients at any time, tracking their observations in real-time, between clinician visits.

Under the service, professionals visit patients to deliver care, as required, and monitor and check in on patients via video call – using RPM technology to track clinical observations. Blood tests, x-rays, medication, and other support services are provided through the initiative.

Vanessa Janissen, National Director of Strategy and Service Development at Calvary said it differs from the ‘transactional’ framework underpinning current healthcare funding and delivery models – in turn, lending itself to holistic, personalised models of care and, ultimately, outcome-based payments.

“Everything about the way we deliver and even fund healthcare at the moment is transactional – even the language used to describe it. We talk about ‘episodes’ of care, for example,” she said ahead of the Health Insurance Summit.

“However treating patients in their homes forces us to think about them more holistically. For example, what does providing this care mean for their partners, family, home environment, and even their pets? People are complex and their care needs to be planned and delivered in the context of their broader circumstances and with the support of those who care for them.

“Medibank and Calvary are looking beyond the current transactional approach towards more holistic and personalised treatment – with a view to improving patient outcomes. We believe our model enables that and Wellbeing SA is leading on this,” she added.

The My Home Hospital service has so far been well-received by patients.

“We have been quite surprised by how much people enjoy receiving their care at home. The benefits to them clearly outweigh any concerns about not being in a conventional hospital setting,” Ms. Janissen said.

“Even though we are often dealing with an older cohort, we have found that most people can navigate the tech and feel well cared for.”

Whilst logistically more challenging, Medibank and Calvary’s modelling has also shown that care in the home is significantly more cost-efficient than its traditional alternative.

Presenting at Informa’s Health Insurance Summit, Vanessa Janissen will discuss the model in more depth and its outlook for the next two to three years, reflecting on key successes so far.

Learn more and register

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