Heart Health

Hospital at home: A movement whose time has come

This safe, cost-effective model relies on home visits and technology to provide hospital-level care at home — and is especially well suited for people with heart failure.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

photo of a man laying on a couch in his home being attended to by a physician

Each year, nearly a million Americans find out they have heart failure. This diagnosis isn't as quite as dire as the name sounds (see "What is heart failure?"). Still, it's one of the top three reasons older people are admitted to a hospital — and about half of these people return within six months. But what if you could receive the same high-level care for this common condition in the comfort of your own home?

Hospital at home isn't just a dream, but a well-researched concept that's been around for decades and already practiced in Australia and many European countries. Now, it's finally starting to take hold in the United States, thanks to a waiver from the federal government that currently allows Medicare to pay for the program.

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About the Author

photo of Julie Corliss

Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Julie Corliss is the executive editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before working at Harvard, she was a medical writer and editor at HealthNews, a consumer newsletter affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine. She … See Full Bio
View all posts by Julie Corliss

About the Reviewer

photo of Christopher P. Cannon, MD

Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Christopher P. Cannon is editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. He is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and senior physician in the Preventive Cardiology section of the Cardiovascular Division at … See Full Bio
View all posts by Christopher P. Cannon, MD

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