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Study finds people with IDD significantly benefit from home-based primary care

Elderly patient and caregiver spending time together

BrightSpring Health Services, a leading provider of complementary home and community-based pharmacy and health services for complex populations in need of specialized and/or chronic care, announced publication of a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association authored by Dr. William Mills, BrightSpring Health Services Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, analyzing the effects of home-based primary care (HBPC) versus traditional primary care among individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD).

“The findings from this BrightSpring-led study demonstrate the critical role that HBPC can serve among our nation’s most complex and high-acuity patient base and provide more data to help advance our understanding of care for these individuals,” said Dr. Steven Landers, MPH, President & CEO of VNA Health Group.

The study, “Provision of Home-Based Primary Care to Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability,” determined that providing IDD patients with HBPC, through which patients receive more regular primary care medical visits in the home and have access to around-the-clock care as needed, was associated with a lower hospitalization rate than patients receiving traditional off-site primary care approximately every 12 weeks. The study builds upon previous BrightSpring studies1exploring the benefit of value-based outcomes for individuals with IDD.

The study evaluated 757 participants diagnosed with IDD from April 1, 2020, to February 28, 2022. The intervention group, which comprised of 207 participants who elected HBPC, were visited approximately every five weeks by a HBPC physician or nurse practitioner and had 24/7 access to a medical practitioner to assist with in-between visit concerns. The control group of 550 participants continued to visit traditional primary care providers outside of their residential settings approximately every 12 weeks. To appropriately measure the HBPC intervention’s effects, the study utilized a statistical model to control for age as well as the baseline hospitalization rate in the year prior to the study.

At the conclusion of the study, HBPC demonstrated statistically significant lower hospitalization rates and improved outcomes for IDD patients compared to the traditional care model. Specifically, under the traditional care model participants were more than twice as likely to require hospitalization. “The use of appropriate statistical tools allowed us to amplify the signal from the collected data and to attribute the differences between the two groups to the HBPC intervention and not to any other possible explanation,” said Dr. Dmitri Poltavski, a data analyst on the study.

“HBPC has long been shown to reduce hospitalizations and improve patient and caregiver satisfaction, yet little is still known about the effect of the care model on outcomes in individuals with IDD, a patient cohort at high-risk for medical complications,” Mills added. “These findings further confirm our belief that HBPC is an important care model for organizations caring for IDD patients and can be critical to enhancing outcomes for this complex patient population.”

Sixty percent of individuals with IDD have three or more chronic conditions in addition to their IDD diagnosis. The U.S. IDD population is also aging and expected to double to 1.2 million over the next 25 years. This means that many IDD patients have difficulty accessing a physician’s office for care and use emergency rooms and hospitals at high rates, in addition to having a higher mortality rate than the general population due, in many cases, to potentially preventable conditions.

“I am proud of the clinical innovation and rigorous studies BrightSpring continues to conduct to support broad improvements in the care of the IDD patient population,” said Jon Rousseau, BrightSpring’s President and CEO. “The results of this latest study are very significant, and they further demonstrate our commitment to improve care for IDD patients across the board with new and person-centered care practices. We look forward to continuing to leverage novel and important approaches and study data to ensure the highest standard of care for the individuals we support, as well as other complex patient populations nationwide.”

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