Choosing Inpatient vs Home Treatment: Why Patients Accept or Decline Hospital at Home

Pamela Saenger, Alex D. Federman, Linda V. DeCherrie, Sara Lubetsky, Elisse Catalan, Bruce Leff, Albert L. Siu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Hospital at home (HaH) provides interdisciplinary acute care in the home as a substitute for inpatient hospitalization. Studies have demonstrated that HaH care is associated with better quality care, fewer complications, and better patient and caregiver experience. Still, some patients decline HaH. The objective of the study was to characterize patients who accept vs decline HaH care and describe reasons for their decisions in the context of a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation demonstration of HaH. DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 442 patients with Medicare or other eligible insurance, 18 years or older, who met study eligibility criteria were offered HaH at Mount Sinai Hospitals in New York, NY, between September 1, 2014, and August 31, 2017. MEASUREMENTS: Reasons for accepting or declining HaH were recorded. Age, sex, insurance type, and admission diagnoses of HaH acceptors and refusers were compared in univariate analyses. RESULTS: Of the 442 patients offered HaH, 66.7% accepted. Main reasons for enrolling in HaH included being more comfortable at home (78.2%) and being near family (40.7%). Specific reasons given for refusing HaH included preferring in-hospital care (15.0%) and concern that HaH would not meet care needs (12.9%). CONCLUSION: Two-thirds of patients offered HaH care opted to receive it. The reasons for declining HaH provided by those who chose not to participate should be considered for quality improvement, and reasons for acceptance may be helpful in marketing and other efforts to promote HaH participation. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1579-1583, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579-1583
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • home care
  • home hospitalization
  • hospital at home
  • patient preferences


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