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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 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 

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 advanced 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.

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 only) or UNC Rex Hospital.

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 and Medicaid. 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 only) or UNC REX Hospital. 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.

Care with the Comforts of Home

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

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