Reduced emergency room and hospital utilization in persons with multiple chronic conditions and disability receiving home-based primary care

Andrew Schamess, MD, Randi Foraker, Matthew Kretovics, MPH, Kelli Barnes, PharmD, BCACP, Stuart Beatty, PharmD, BCACP, CDE, Seuli Bose-Brill, MD, Neeraj Tayal, MD

Disability and Health Journal April 2017, Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 326–333


Persons with multiple chronic conditions and disability face access barriers to office-based primary care and have very high rates of emergency department (ED) use and hospital admissions. Home-based primary care (HBPC) has been proposed as a way to improve disease management and prevent health crises.


Enrollment of patients with disability and multiple chronic conditions in a HBPC program is associated with a subsequent decrease in ED visits and hospital admissions.


We abstracted electronic medical record (EMR) data among patients receiving HBPC and compared rates per 1000 patient days for ED visits, admissions, 30-day readmissions, and inpatient days for up to three years before and after enrollment.


Of 250 patients receiving HBPC, 153 had admission data recorded in our EMR prior to enrollment. One year after HBPC enrollment, the rate of admissions dropped by 5.2 (95% confidence interval 4.3, 6.0), 30-day readmissions by 1.8 (1.3, 2.2) and inpatient days by 54.6 (52.3, 56.9) per 1000 patient-days. Three years post-enrollment, rates remained below baseline by 2.2 (1.3, 3.1) for admissions, 0.5 (0.04, 1.0) for 30-day readmissions and 32.2 (29.8, 34.7) for inpatient days. Among 91 patients with pre-enrollment ED data, the rate of ED visits also dropped at one and three years by 5.5 (4.6, 6.4) and 2.7 (1.7, 3.7), respectively.


Provision of HBPC for persons with multiple chronic conditions and disability is associated with a persistent reduction in ED and hospital use.