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MedStar partners with West Health Institute

MedStar Health announced Wednesday a broad collaboration with the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, a medical research nonprofit in Washington, to experiment with various care delivery and payment reforms.

MedStar physicians and other providers will inform, and potentially implement, programs proposed in collaboration with the West Health Institute. MedStar’s network of 10 hospitals and multiple ambulatory care sites in Maryland and Washington will serve as the primary locations where any clinical research projects will be tested.

One program that will be explored through the partnership is MedStar’s “Medical House Call Program,” which lays out a model for providing home-based primary care to medically frail seniors.

The model was found to reduce Medicare costs by 17 percent during a two-year period, according to the program’s co-founder, Dr. Eric De Jonge, director of geriatrics at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Officials from MedStar and the West Health Institute plan to study the Medical House Call Program in more depth to develop a plan for scaling up the model, and to address any potential barriers to doing so.

“MedStar’s innovative care model has the potential to bring improved care at a lower cost to those who need it most,” said Nicholas J. Valeriani, CEO of the West Health Institute, in a statement. “…Expanding a home-based care program nationwide to bring comprehensive, high-quality care to seniors in their homes — at costs far lower than care provided in hospitals — could help transform the way health care is delivered.”