Evaluating Racial/Ethnic Differences in Care Escalation Among COVID-19 Patients in a Home-Based Hospital

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2023 Apr;10(2):817-825. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01270-1. Epub 2022 Mar 7.


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected over 414 million people worldwide with 5.8 million deaths, as of February 2022. Telemedicine-based interventions to expand healthcare systems' capacity and reduce infection risk have rapidly increased during the pandemic, despite concerns regarding equitable access. Atrium Health Hospital at Home (AH-HaH) is a home-based program that provides advanced, hospital-level medical care and monitoring for patients who would otherwise be hospitalized in a traditional setting. Our retrospective cohort study of positive COVID-19 patients who were admitted to AH-HaH aims to investigate whether the rate of care escalation from AH-HaH to traditional hospitalization differed based on patients' racial/ethnic backgrounds. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between care escalation within 14 days from index AH-HaH admission and race/ethnicity. We found approximately one in five patients receiving care for COVID-19 in AH-HaH required care escalation within 14 days. Odds of care escalation were not significantly different for Hispanic or non-Hispanic Blacks compared to non-Hispanic Whites. However, secondary analyses showed that both Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black patients were younger and with fewer comorbidities than non-Hispanic Whites. The study highlights the need for new care models to vigilantly monitor for disparities, so that timely and tailored adaptations can be implemented for vulnerable populations.

Keywords: COVID-19; Care escalation; Home-based hospital; Racial/ethnic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Black People
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Ethnicity
  • Healthcare Disparities* / ethnology
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Home Care Services*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • White People