Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Home Aide Service of Eastern New York, Inc. / Eddy Visiting Nurse Association (The Eddy)

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

July 2016

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

November 2012 – April 2015

By 2030, the number of permanently homebound individuals in the U.S. will increase by 50% to reach 2 million.

These highest-need and sickest patients are also the ones who bear the greatest financial burden on the health care system. In 2011, Samaritan Hospital privately launched a small home-based care pilot program to determine whether a medical house call service could help patients with frequent hospital readmissions. The results were promising—the majority of patients were not re-hospitalized, and the conclusion was that the medical house call model warrants further study on a larger scale.

In 2012, NYHealth awarded a grant to Eddy Visiting Nurse Association (Eddy VNA) and its affiliate St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates to test the medical house call model in four upstate New York counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Recruited three medical doctors and two nurse practitioners, retaining four out of five providers by the end of the grant;
  • Showed a 24% reduction emergency room visits and a 15% reduction in hospitalizations for patients;
  • Prevented unnecessary emergency room visits/inpatient stays, totaling an estimated $78,000 in emergency room cost savings and $1,220,000 in hospitalization cost savings;
  • Recorded a high patient/caregiver satisfaction rate (97% would recommend the program, 90% said program improved quality of life, and 86% said program allowed them to remain at home over nursing home placement);
  • Implemented an online, interactive home-based primary care curriculum in July 2015; and
  • Integrated this program with primary care practices participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Although the current, largely fee-for-service reimbursement system does not sustain the medical house call model, the Eddy Memorial Foundation continues to fund program because of its effective outcomes. However, the model is ready and easily scalable for a larger-size program as payment models shift.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: The Eddy Memorial Foundation (The Eddy) contributed nearly $790,000 to this project during the grant period. To date, The Eddy continues to provide funding for this program to keep it operational.