By Morgan Eichensehr,

MedStar Health is joining seven partner institutions across the country to launch a new home-based primary care training program.

The nonprofit Home Centered Care Institute works to ensure homebound patients have access to high-quality primary care in their homes nationwide. It’s establishing eight new Centers of Excellence, including MedStar’s Medical House Call Program, to offer its home-based primary care training and curriculum in major cities across the U.S.

MedStar has had its own home-based care program in Washington, D.C. since 1999. The program expanded to Baltimore last year. Dr. Eric DeJonge, executive director of MedStar Total Elder Care, said he served on the Home Centered Care Institute’s initial board to develop a national training program. Their goal was to identify organizations with experience that could help teach a workforce around the country to build a successful house call program.

“There is a huge unmet need in almost every community in the U.S. for home-based medical care,” DeJonge said. “About 5 percent of Medicare patients who are very sick or disabled could benefit from this kind of program…We really want to train a workforce at a high level of skill to serve those most complex patients.”

According to the Home Centered Care Institute, one in four Americans has multiple chronic conditions — many of those age 65 and older — and more than 4 million people have conditions that leave them homebound. The institute estimates there are about 1,000 providers in the U.S. making the majority of home-based primary care visits today. It wants to grow that workforce by training 5,000 clinicians and practice managers over the next five years.

These are the eight new Centers of Excellence:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • MedStar Health — Medical House Call Program
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Arizona Center on Aging
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • University of California, San Francisco