Objective: To assess the efficacy of a home care program designed to improve access to medical care for older adults with multiple chronic conditions who are at risk for hospitalization.
Study design: Randomized controlled trial in which participants were assigned to the home care intervention (Choices for Healthy Aging [CHA]) program or usual care.
Methods: The intervention group consisted of 298 older adults at risk of hospitalization as determined by a risk stratification tool. Measures included satisfaction with medical care, medical service use, and costs of medical care.
Results: The intervention group reported significantly greater satisfaction with care than usual care recipients (t test = 2.476; P = .014). CHA patients were less likely than usual care patients to be admitted to the hospital (25.6% and 37.1%, respectively; P = .02). There were no differences in terms of costs of care between the home care and usual care groups.
Conclusions: Provision of home care to older adults at high risk of hospitalization may improve satisfaction with care while reducing hospitalizations. Lack of difference in medical costs suggests that managed care organizations need to consider targeting rather than using risk stratification measures when designing programs for high-risk groups.