Aug. 9, 2017 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) recently was chosen by the Home-Centered Care Institute as one of eight Centers of Excellence for its Home-Based Primary Care program, a first-of-its-kind program designed to make high-quality, home-based primary care a more common practice across the United States.
The institute’s program aims to train and expand the home-based primary care workforce of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants from the currently estimated 1,000 providers to 5,000 nationwide over the next five years.
The training curriculum to be used at the eight centers focuses on four core components — foundational principles, economics, operations and clinical care. Ann Riggs, M.D., a professor in the UAMS College of Medicine’s Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics, and Jasmine Brathwaite, M.D., an assistant professor in the same department, will teach the curriculum at UAMS along with two advanced practice registered nurses. In September, all four will travel to Chicago for a “training the trainers” course and plan to start teaching classes in home-based primary care by early November.
“This is a new educational component that we can use to help train future house-call physicians how to build medical teams going to the homes,” Riggs said. “We are very excited and proud to be asked to participate in it. We’re grateful that Dr. Brathwaite is leading up the House Call Program through the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and also helping us step up to be one of the Centers of Excellence.”
In 1999, Debra Caradine, M.D., established the House Call clinical program in the Department of Geriatrics. Brathwaite now leads the program and along with two advanced practice registered nurses sees about 250 patients.
Home-based primary care makes possible timely and appropriate care, improves medical outcomes and patient and family experience, and reduces health care costs for older Americans with multiple chronic conditions and other medically complex patients, Brathwaite said.
“In the past, it’s been difficult to make house call programs financially feasible, but with the new changes in payment structure, we will be able to make the financial piece work,” Brathwaite said. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did research over four years looking at four or five different house-calls program. They showed a tremendous savings in overall cost of care, mainly because we’re showing better health outcomes, reducing emergency medical visits and decreasing hospitalizations.”
The other Centers of Excellence in the program are Cleveland Clinic, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, MedStar Health-Medical House Call Program in Washington D.C., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, University of Arizona Center on Aging in Tucson, Arizona and University of California, San Francisco.
Founded in 2012 by Thomas Cornwell, M.D., the Home-Centered Care Institute is a collaborative nonprofit organization that is advancing home-based primary care nationwide to ensure that medically complex and homebound patients have access to high-quality primary care in their home.