When it comes to caring for seniors, Dr. Albert Siu, Mount Sinai Healthy System Chair for Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, notes that patient needs don’t always occur from nine to five, Monday to Friday.
“People don’t get sick necessarily during those hours,” said Dr. Siu. “Outside of those limited hours, they present to the emergency room.”
Dr. Siu has been pioneering a new program at Mount Sinai called the Mobile Acute Care for the Elderly (MACE) team, designed to provide more options for care at home, giving those patients an alternative. He recently spoke to the West Health Institute about his program.
Dr. Siu is hoping to build upon a home-based healthcare program called hospital at home developed by Dr. Bruce Leff at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“Hospital at home, as an alternative for acute hospitalization for some patients, results in better outcomes, fewer complications, more satisfied patients and reduced costs,” said Dr. Siu. “The mobile acute care team is an attempt to institute hospital at home on a larger scale, hopefully with many payors so we can reach more patients, with an expanded list of diagnoses so we can reach more patients.”
Dr. Siu will be studying hundreds of patients in a three-year, $9.6 million research program funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Health Care Innovation Award. By partnering with community organizations like the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the project will treat patients with in-home care for conditions including cellulitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), community acquired pneumonia, congestive heart failure, deep venous thrombosis, diabetes, and urinary tract infections.
With more than 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65, the healthcare system has to adapt to our nation’s changing demographics, notes Dr. Siu.
“Perhaps we’re not moving fast enough,” says Dr. Siu. “The demography is outpacing our ability to innovate and change the healthcare system.”
The West Health Institute is working with a diverse group of healthcare leaders to develop a national action plan which enables more seniors to safely go home after an emergency room visit, rather than be admitted to the hospital.
Please click here to learn more, and read and download Urgent Matter’s Overview of Options for Home-based Healthcare at the Emergency Department.