Program at home: A veterans affairs healthcare program to deliver hospital care in the home

Scott L. Mader, Marijo C. Medcraft, Carol Joseph, Kay L. Jenkins, Nancy Benton, Kathleen Chapman, Maggie A. Donius, Carol Baird, Richard Harper, Yasmin Ansari, Jim A. Jackson, William Schutzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC) participated in a research-based National Demonstration and Evaluation Study of Hospital at Home Care for Elderly Patients. PVAMC continued hospital at home care in a modified form based on the results of that research phase and feedback from patients, families, and staff. The modified clinical program (referred to as Program @ Home) provided care for the same diagnoses (exacerbation of congestive heart failure, exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, community-acquired pneumonia, cellulitis) but differed from the research-based demonstration project in that it accepted patients of all ages, accepted early-discharge patients from the hospital, and provided a less-intensive physician and nursing model. In the first 42 months, 290 patients were admitted; 23% came from the emergency room, 54% were early hospital discharge, and the remainder came from an outpatient clinic or home care. Average length of stay was 3.2 days, and 37% were younger than 65. The results describe how a home hospital program has been integrated into the clinical care offerings of a managed care health system and how it supports inpatient, primary, emergency, and home care programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2317-2322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute medical illness
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Elderly
  • Home hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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