Medical professional showing a bottle to a patient in a home care setting

UNC Health Advanced Care at Home

Our Advanced Care at Home program allows you to receive high-quality, acute-level care and to recover where you are most comfortable – in your home. Your medical needs are observed and addressed with 24/7 virtual monitoring, along with scheduled and rapid response in-person care, through a coordinated ecosystem of support services managed by the Advanced Care at Home team.

What is Advanced Care at Home?

Advanced Care at Home is an alternative for some ‘sick but stable’ patients who would typically be admitted to the hospital to treat immediate medical needs. Examples of conditions considered for at-home care include pneumonia, congestive heart failure, cellulitis, COPD, gastroenteritis, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Depending on your condition, under the direction of UNC Health providers, you may be able to transition to a home setting where you will receive skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, nutrition, medications, laboratory, imaging services and other services you would receive in a typical hospital setting.

Patient care includes: 

  • Treatment and monitoring at home
  • 24/7 access to a UNC Health care team, available virtually and in-person
  • Individualized care plan and schedule
  • Personalized medical supplies and technological capabilities delivered to your home

Care with the Comforts of Home

John Donahue and his wife Gale share their experience with UNC Health's Advanced Care at Home.

Watch Patient Video

How is Advanced Care at Home different from home health care?  

Advanced Care at Home is healthcare provided to ‘sick but stable’ patients who need hospital care but are able to remain at home while they receive it. They are not ready for discharge.

Home health care — frequently called simply "home health" — is skilled care delivered directly to a patient's home by licensed medical professionals for the purpose of treating or managing an illness, injury or medical condition that does not require hospitalization.  

How does Advanced Care at Home work?

Once you’ve agreed that you want to participate in the hospital-at-home program, you will be transferred home where you will meet with an Advanced Care at Home service provider who will help transition your home into a site of care.

Multiple pieces of technology will be used to enable consistent monitoring and communications, such as equipment that monitors your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and weight. You also will have a tablet that connects you to a 24-hour clinical command center staffed by UNC Health personnel who virtually assess and communicate with you for the duration of your at-home hospitalization.

Your tablet is equipped with a “talk to my team” button, which immediately connects you to a nurse at the command center. This button will act as your hospital call bell. You’ll also meet virtually with physicians and other staff using your tablet.

It is important to note that you will receive in-person visits from UNC Health providers. Additional medical professionals will also travel to your home to provide a wide variety of services, including mobile imaging, blood draws, medical equipment delivery, courier services and meals.

All in-home visits are scheduled with advance notice to family to minimize interruptions and allow you to rest. At the end of your care, your UNC Health Advanced Care at Home team works with your primary care provider to coordinate your discharge.

What Patients Are Saying

"My husband and I are so appreciative of the Advanced Care at Home program. I was going to be hospitalized for mastitis, but this option allowed me to stay at home with my kids and my newborn while receiving treatment. It was a great option for busy moms like me and we are so thankful." – Dilcia D.

“It’s a wonderful program, and people will get better quicker at home because you’re so comfortable where you’re used to being, and there’s just no place like home. The people that came and took care of me were just like family to me.” – Mrs. Gray

"The program frees up a hospital bed, it’s saving money, and you get well faster. What’s not to like?" – Roy U.

How comfortable do I need to be with technology? 

The technology we use is very user-friendly. It’s intended to be simple and straightforward. You will receive all the technology you need for your care, including equipment to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and weight. A member of the Advanced Care at Home team teaches you how everything works. With the push of a button, you are able to connect with our clinical command center, which is staffed around the clock by UNC Health medical staff who can virtually assess and communicate with you. You also can always pick up the phone and call us.

Who is eligible for Advanced Care at Home?

The Advanced Care at Home team, in collaboration with other UNC Health providers, will assess potential patients and refer them to the program. Patients must be “sick but stable” and live within 30 minutes of UNC Hospitals (Chapel Hill or Hillsborough) or UNC Rex Healthcare (Raleigh or Holly Springs).

Other considerations will be your diagnosis, your home environment and the ability to have necessary equipment set up in the home.

Why Advanced Care at Home?

You’ll feel better in the place you feel the best. The home setting is optimal for some patients to receive treatment and recover.

According to a growing body of research, patients receiving hospital-at-home care fare better than those in the traditional hospital because they have a lower risk of hospital-related complications and are able to be more active.

Will my insurance cover care with Advanced Care at Home?

This program has been approved for patients with traditional Medicare, Aetna MA, United MA, UMR (for NC Health employees) and uninsured / self-pay.  UNC Health is currently in discussions with other health plans to provide this service as a potential option for members who live within 30 minutes of UNC Hospitals (Chapel Hill or Hillsborough) or UNC Rex Healthcare (Raleigh or Holly Springs). We hope to offer this service to additional health plans in the future so that more patients can have this option for care. We also expect to expand to other areas.