Virginia-based Capital Caring Health is expanding its home-based primary care program.
The nonprofit hospice and senior services provider plans to offer primary care to a larger population of chronically ill patients with an emphasis on the Arlington County, Virginia, region. The philanthropic Washington Forrest Foundation is supporting the expansion through a grant. The dollar amount was undisclosed.
The grant will also support efforts to address social determinants of health, according to Dr. Heidi Young, associate chief medical officer for Capital Caring and medical director of the Primary Care at Home program.
“Home-limited seniors, particularly in underserved socioeconomic regions, often do not receive the medical care they deserve,” Young said in a statement. “For the underinsured and uninsured who lack equitable access to necessary medical care, this increased support enables Capital Caring Health to meet patients where they are by delivering transportation services, supplementary meals and essential medical supplies.”
The move toward risk-based reimbursement systems is partly fueling a resurgence in home-based primary care, according to a 2018 study in the journal Geriatrics.
A number of hospices have launched their own programs or partnerships with other providers. Patients in the United States received more than 2.2 million home-based primary care visits during 2016, up from less than 1 million in 1996, the study found. Patients in assisted living facilities, group homes and other facilities received 3.2 million primary care visits in 2016.
Capital Caring launched its Primary Care at Home service in 2019. The program includes house calls by doctors, nurse practitioners and social workers who specialize in caring for seriously ill seniors, home-based diagnostic testing, telehealth and other services.
The organization cares for patients in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, encompassing 14 counties and four independent cities. Capital Caring recently signed an agreement to affiliate with Florida-based Chapters Health System, expected to close this year.
“This [primary care expansion] development will greatly impact our most vulnerable communities, helping Capital Caring Health to close equity gaps and better accommodate patient needs,” Young said. “We are so grateful to the Washington Forrest Foundation for their support and shared concern for the health, welfare and quality of life of Arlington’s seniors.”