“This is an amazing and generous gift. We feel this model can help entirely shift the way we deliver hospital care in rural areas throughout the country.”
—DAVID LEVINE, MD, MPH, MA
For Americans living in rural areas, accessible healthcare poses a major challenge, with nearly a quarter citing an average 34-minute drive to their nearest hospital. Those who seek care at their local hospital may also face other challenges, including high costs and inadequate quality and safety. As rural hospitals continue to close at a record pace—124 since 2010—the problem intensifies for the one in five Americans who live in rural areas.
Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at the Brigham and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is working to address this by launching a project to provide hospital-level care at home in rural areas.
A family foundation enthusiastic about this groundbreaking project has anonymously committed a $1.4 million gift. This contribution enables a three-year clinical trial at three rural sites in North America—where Ariadne Labs is adapting principles already used by the Brigham to successfully deliver home-based acute care in urban environments. The home hospital model reimagines the home as the best place to care for acutely ill adults by offering treatment and medication, predictive analytics, remote wireless monitoring and diagnostics, and virtual and in-person care teams.
“This is an amazing and generous gift,” says David Levine, MD, MPH, MA, who developed the urban home hospital project and is leading Ariadne Labs’ efforts to adjust the model for rural environments. His team hopes to demonstrate parallel results: increased access to care and similar or higher quality care at a lower cost.
“Acute care in rural homes requires a robust evidence base, and this funding is crucial to pull it off,” says Levine, a general internist in the Brigham’s Department of Medicine and an associate faculty member with Ariadne Labs. “We are grateful to this family foundation for fueling our work to test this concept to bring hospital-level care to rural homes. We feel this model can help entirely shift the way we deliver hospital care in rural areas throughout the country.”