Medically Home Group, Mass General Cancer Center Begin Trial of Home-Based Oncology Care

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Within 30 days of chemotherapy treatment, more than 18% of cancer patients are either hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for side effects of the treatment. Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and hospital-at-home pioneer Medically Home Group have begun a randomized clinical trial to evaluate how supportive oncology care in the home can reduce the need for emergency or inpatient care and help manage patients’ symptoms.

Medically Home Group today announced that it and its partner Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (MGHCC) have begun enrolling patients in their randomized clinical trial of supportive oncology care in the home. Patients in the trial assigned to the intervention receive Medically Home’s supportive oncology care services that they would otherwise not receive. The patient-centered care is focused on managing patients’ symptoms, including side effects of their cancer treatments, and on reducing the likelihood that patients will need to return to a hospital for emergency or inpatient care.

The supportive oncology care service is built on the same high-acuity platform as Medically Home’s Acute Hospital Substitution Program, used by some of the country’s top health systems to offer acute-level inpatient hospitalization in the patient’s home. The Medically Home platform includes a 24/7 clinician-led Medical Command Center; a network of rapid-response clinical and non-clinical services, medications, equipment, and supplies brought to patients’ homes; and technology in the home and the Command Center for monitoring and communicating with patients with a high-acuity illness.

Clinical studies have shown that home hospitalization delivers improved patient outcomes, higher patient and clinician satisfaction, cost savings, lower mortality, and lower risk for readmissions. Patients are treated in the safe and familiar environment of the home, without the disruption, stress and disorientation that can be experienced by hospital inpatients.

“Once diagnosed with cancer, most patients have no choice but to engage with a complicated and fragmented health care system, designed to prioritize the needs of the health system itself and not the needs of patients or their families,” said Medically Home Oncology President Patricia “Patty” Brown. “Medically Home is dedicated to transforming the health care experience of individuals with illnesses such as cancer whose needs range from supportive help with symptom management to high-acuity hospital-level care that may be provided in the patient’s home. Once you commit to patient-centered care, you can flip the care delivery model on its head, leveraging the home as the preferred site of care.”

Under the clinical trial, Medically Home provides and coordinates services including daily monitoring of patient reported outcomes and vital signs, scheduled intravenous fluids, and home visits as needed to administer additional care such as IV anti-emetics. The Medically Home oncology team maintains daily communication with the primary oncologists caring for these patients at MGHCC.

“We are excited for the opportunity to offer this randomized trial to our patients, as we seek to improve the quality of life and care for patients with cancer and their families,” said Dr. Ryan Nipp, an oncologist at MGHCC. “This novel paradigm of care represents a promising solution to enhance care delivery and outcomes for patients with cancer, a population at risk for experiencing high symptom burden and frequent hospitalizations.”

For the study, 300 patients with pancreatic, gastroesophageal, rectal and head & neck cancers will be randomly selected to receive supportive oncology care at home by Medically Home over the course of their definitive (curative) chemotherapy or chemoradiation. The study is named Randomized Trial of a Supportive Oncology Care at Home Intervention for Patients with Cancer Receiving Definitive Treatment.

At a time when many clinical trials of oncology treatments have been halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Medically Home’s platform allows trials to continue safely while reducing the need to bring patients into hospitals with restricted access.

“We believe that being able to participate in clinical trials from home will allow for greater enrollment, increased access, decreased patient and caregiver burden, increased health equity and decreased drop-out rates,” Brown said.

Brown came to Medically Home earlier this year after 25 years with Johns Hopkins Health System. In her most recent position, she served simultaneously as President of Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Senior Vice President of Managed Care and Population Health for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Senior Counsel for the Johns Hopkins Health System.

About Medically Home

Medically Home is a technology-enabled services company that provides the clinical intellectual property, technology platform and acute rapid response clinical services that allow medical providers to safely shift advanced medical care from hospitals to patients' homes. Through the company's commitment to creating superior experiences and outcomes for patients, their families, and healthcare stakeholders, Medically Home with its customers and partners is leading the charge in the innovation of healthcare delivery. For more information on Medically Home, please visit http://www.medicallyhome.com/.

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Paul Sherer
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