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News Release
Paramedic Lindsey Thomas shows patient Vickie Kinnee how easy it is to use her Kaiser Permanente at Home equipment..
Paramedic Lindsey Thomas shows patient Vickie Kinnee how easy it is to use her Kaiser Permanente at Home equipment..
Interviews: Hospital care at home, just when we need it (Photo) (B-roll) - 02/27/24

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 11, 2023): Even as the pandemic has receded, hospitals are filled to capacity, struggling with high costs and seeking beds beyond the hospital.

Kaiser Permanente Northwest is leading one of the largest advanced care at home programs in the U.S., demonstrating a successful model of the future of medical care that will be delivered at home with supportive technology.

More than 2,200 acute care patients in Oregon and Southwest Washington, whose physicians have determined they’re good candidates based on their medical condition and care needs, have benefitted from the rapidly expanding program, which is designed to be accessible to patients regardless of socioeconomic status.

Studies have shown that more than 75% of Americans ages 40+ feel happier and less stressed to receive acute-level care in their own home with familiar surroundings, family and pets around them instead of being in a hospital. Many also report feeling a closer connection with their doctor and care team.

One of those patients, Vickie Kinnee, 67, was admitted to the program after coming to the ER with heart failure. “I didn’t want to be in the hospital, taking up a bed someone else needed,” she said. “So when they said I could be treated at home and recover with my family instead of in a sterile environment, I said ‘sign me up!”

Another patient, Rudie Watzig, 44, who was admitted to the program in January 2023 after being diagnosed with liver disease, said when he was in the brick-and-mortar hospital he “hit mental rock bottom” and it was the worst he has ever felt in his life. “I am a family-centric guy. I have three boys and I need to see them every day and that’s tough when being in a hospital. Kaiser Permanente at Home really fulfills that need. I felt so much relief. It was life changing keeping me out of that hospital and allowed me to accelerate my recovery.”

Advanced technology makes it possible to connect patients with their entire care team (paramedics, nurses, doctors and medical equipment) from home, through a mix of virtual and in-person care. It’s easy to use, even for those lacking social and economic resources - patients don’t need to be skilled with technology or even have Internet. Primary in-home clinicians will set them up with everything they need, including WiFi, and teach them how to use it within an hour or two of arriving home.

“We believe this acute-care at home model advances the way we practice medicine,” said Dr. Joel Womack, Chief of Hospital Medicine for Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “We are now technologically able to connect with patients in their home – the physician and entire care team - in a way that wasn’t possible before. Kaiser Permanente’s expertise in home services actually draws back on our original mission. We’re physician led and we’re a pre-paid medical group that has interest in the total cost of care of a patient and the total health of the patient. So, when you think of our Kaiser Permanente at home program, what we’re really doing is naturally extending that whole mission into the person’s home.”

 Interviews available:

  1. Vickie Kinnee, 67, patient who recovered from heart failure in the comfort of her home.
  2. Dr. Joel Womack, Chief of Service, Hospital Medicine for Kaiser Permanente Northwest
  3. Rudie Watzig, 44, patient admitted to the program with a diagnosis of liver disease in 2023.

Contact Karen Vitt to schedule.

Photos, video clips and b-roll available:

  1. Footage of paramedics working to set up Vickie Kinnee's living room, showing her how to use the tools, and interview clips with Vickie about her experience.
  2. B-roll clips »
  3. Still photos »

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, please visit: about.kaiserpermanente.org

For more information, please visit: about.kaiserpermanente.org

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