• Press Release

Mount Sinai Health System to Launch Palliative Care at Home, Expanding Partnership With Contessa

Effort Builds on Successful Joint Models including Rehabilitation at Home and Hospital at Home

  • New York, NY
  • (February 08, 2021)

The Mount Sinai Health System announced today that it will expand its partnership with Contessa to launch Palliative Care at Home.

“Palliative Care at Home, which launched this past Spring to help care for seriously ill COVID-19 patients in their homes, will now be available to all of our seriously ill patients and their families,” said R. Sean Morrison, MD, the Ellen and Howard C. Katz Professor and Chair of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the one who initially conceptualized the program.

The expansion builds on two highly successful programs for care in the home—Rehabilitation at Home (RaH) and Hospital at Home (HaH)—within the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai, the first department of Geriatrics established at an American medical school. RaH provides subacute rehabilitation to patients recovering from an illness or surgical procedure, while HaH brings hospital-level services into the homes of patients. HaH has cared for more than 1,000 patients since its inception in 2017 and during the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a boon to patients convalescing in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Palliative Care at Home will leverage Mount Sinai’s expertise and leadership in palliative medicine; Mount Sinai was one of the first academic medical centers to develop palliative care and is now the largest such academic program in the nation. Like its forerunners, the palliative care at home program will be run by the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai and Contessa.

Nashville-based Contessa works with health systems to bring health care into the home. The organization will work with Mount Sinai to operationalize the program, lend expertise in staffing, negotiate with payers, and implement Mount Sinai’s model of care at hospitals throughout the country.

A team-based approach that provides an added layer of support for patients with serious illness, their families, and their health care providers, palliative care is focused on improving quality of life in the setting of serious illness through treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, assistance with complicated medical decision-making, and care coordination. Palliative care is offered to patients of any age and is provided in tandem with all other appropriate treatments; in contrast to hospice, palliative care patients can continue receiving curative, life-saving care.

Built upon a successful pilot research study funded by the West Health Institute, Palliative Care at Home transitioned from a clinical research trial to a full clinical program to meet the needs of seriously ill COVID-19 patients living at home during the spring surge in New York City. The success of the program during the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the creation of this new Mount Sinai-Contessa partnership.

“We are thrilled to be working with Contessa to both scale up the program in our own community and also to bring greater attention nationwide to this system of home-based care. The hope is that the model we have honed will inform and streamline efforts by other hospitals and health systems around the country,” says Dr. Morrison

“Palliative Care at Home will allow us to scale up a model of care that brings coordinated and specialized care into the homes of our patients while avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations,” says Niyum Gandhi, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mount Sinai Health System. “For the estimated 2 million Americans living with serious illness, many of whom are confined to the home by their physical limitations, the final frontier of care is in the community.”

Comparing the highly successful Hospital at Home program to Palliative Care at Home, Dr. Morrison explains, “Hospital at Home provides a discrete episode of care, designed as a mechanism to replace hospitalization. Palliative Care at Home provides ongoing care and support day after day, month after month, for seriously ill patients and their families in their own homes, thus avoiding unnecessary and burdensome emergency department visits and hospital admissions.”

“Contessa is honored to partner with Mount Sinai to expand its renowned home-based palliative care program to deliver high-quality care to more New Yorkers in their homes,” said Aaron Stein, Chief Operating Officer of Contessa. “Together, our organizations have built a strong Hospitalization at Home program that has proven to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. We are looking forward to building upon that success with this new initiative.”

About Contessa

Based in Nashville, Contessa is the leader and pioneer of Home Recovery Care, a risk-based model that combines all the essential elements of inpatient hospital care in the comfort of patients’ homes. Founded in 2015, Contessa utilizes Care Convergence – a proprietary technology platform – to power the seamless delivery of Home Recovery Care that is safe, affordable and improves patient outcomes. Contessa’s turnkey solution provides upfront savings to health plans, enables health systems to reinvent their care delivery model and helps physicians deliver a better experience for patients.

For more information, visit contessahealth.com or follow us at @contessahealth.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.