Origin Healthcare provides hospital caliber health care services in the home, where patients would prefer to be treated. Courtesy Origin Healthcare

Origin Healthcare: Hospital care at home

FORT COLLINS — Christine Lum Lung was considering founding a home-based health care company before the pandemic. But once it hit, she knew it was what she wanted to do. 

Christine Lum Lung

She had suspected that most of her patients didn’t want to be in the hospital when they received treatment. That was a tough thing to realize, as she was the founding member of a company that provided independent physician care inside hospitals. But she was even more sure of it after the pandemic, when patients were kept inside hospital rooms and away from their families because of protocol. 

“The hospital is a challenging place for patients to be,” Lum Lung said. “At the times they are most vulnerable, they are without their support systems.” 

This, more than anything, led her to co-found Origin Healthcare Inc. in January, which provides home health care to  patients with acute issues. The pandemic told her the time was now. 

“Health care has been resilient, but the pandemic was a shock event,” Lum Lung said. “We want to push health care beyond the boundaries of what is possible.” 

Origin serves patients in Weld and Larimer counties who need treatment that would otherwise keep them in the hospital. They are working on expanding to other parts of the state and treated their first patient this spring. There’s a full team of nurses, doctors and specialists, Lum Lung said, with daily visits. It’s not Hospice care, and it’s not home health care. The idea is to specifically replace hospital stays with acute home care. The care tends to be cheaper and allows doctors to spend more time with their patients, Lum Lung said, but many patients simply do better at home. Being around their loved ones is important, and spending time with their pets fulfills a need hospitals nearly always can’t provide. Plus patients can rest, and sleep, better in their homes. 

“There are so many things about the pandemic,” Lum Lung said. “All the issues we talked about for years with mental illness were there before, but now people are paying attention. Depression rates go down and recovery rates go up in the home.

“You hear a lot, ‘I just have to get home to my dog.’ That’s a real thing with people.”

In fact, some are scared of the hospital, to the point where they put off visiting their doctors for problems they know may hospitalize them.

“People come in super sick,” Lum Lung said.

Loads of data back up her assertions, Lum Lung said, from overseas studies of the model, which has been available for decades across the oceans. The patient feels better, but doctors learn more about them as well, which could also improve their outcome, even after the treatment is over. 

“There’s been some insight we’ve gained by seeing the context of their lives,” Lum Lung said. “What is their nutrition? Where are they keeping their meds? Do they have them available? We can have a bigger impact and help prevent those readmissions.”

Origin has 10 clinicians, aka nurses, doctors and others, on staff and deploy as needed. They keep in touch with remote monitoring, as well as in-person visits and telemedicine. The company puts a limit on how many patients it serves, depending on what care they need, although it isn’t at maximum capacity right now. 

“We do want to be mindful of the quality time staff get to spend with their patients,” said Lum Lung, who works as the CEO as well as one of the team physicians. 

The team works on patients and doesn’t require family members to help, Lum Lung said. 

“We don’t want to be a burden on the family members,” she said. “We don’t require them to be home. But we also notice that they feel more engaged with the care. It’s meaningful for them, even if they don’t have to act as caregivers.” 

They can provide care for COVID-19, and they hope to provide monoclonal antibodies soon, though they do not have ventilators. Their capacity to care for those with the virus is a good model for their company: They can do many things a hospital can do, but they can’t do everything. 

“We will need hospitals and we always will,” Lum Lung said. “We want to think of hospitals as a level of care and not a location.” 

Go to https://originhc.com or call (888) 777-2718 for more information. 

FORT COLLINS — Christine Lum Lung was considering founding a home-based health care company before the pandemic. But once it hit, she knew it was what she wanted to do. 

Christine Lum Lung

She had suspected that most of her patients didn’t want to be in the hospital when they received treatment. That was a tough thing to realize, as she was the founding member of a company that provided independent physician care inside hospitals. But she was even more sure of it after the pandemic, when patients were kept inside hospital rooms and away from their families because of protocol. 

“The hospital is a challenging place for patients to be,” Lum Lung said. “At the times they are most vulnerable, they are without their support systems.” 

This, more than anything, led her to co-found Origin Healthcare Inc. in January, which provides home health care to  patients with acute issues. The pandemic told her the time was now. 

“Health care has been resilient, but the pandemic was a shock event,” Lum Lung said. “We want to push health care beyond the boundaries of what is possible.” 

Origin serves patients in Weld and Larimer counties who need treatment that would otherwise keep them in the hospital. They are working on expanding to other parts of the state and treated their first patient this spring. There’s a full team of nurses, doctors and specialists,…