November 28th, 2017 null Tag Home Health Care

Looking at the Value of Home Health (Part Two)

by Christy Vitulli

As we shared last month, Amedisys believes quality is the price of entry, outcomes should lead any comparative discussion and there’s a real opportunity to better leverage the home in the national healthcare movement towards value. 

When it comes to “best value” in healthcare, there is no one single solution. We all play a role, whether we’re the patient, the provider or the benefit manager (e.g. CMS or the health insurance company).

What we have observed about our part in the value movement is that home healthcare has been late to the table—late to push for reform; late to participate in performance-based contracting; late to introduce scalable, repeatable solutions that can be leveraged across large populations; late to expand service solutions in the home and late to enthusiastically wave its hand as a viable and effective healthcare delivery solution that can help address the affordability crisis. 

In addition, the healthcare industry as a whole has not fully leveraged the home as a viable, desired, high-quality and lower cost healthcare setting. But just because we’re late doesn’t mean we can’t catch up.

FINDING THE VALUE SOLUTION

Seventy percent of people turning 65 can eventually expect to use some form of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Among the alternatives, home health is the least expensive place of service and can be utilized to avoid higher-cost hospitalizations, re-hospitalizations, extended stays at skilled nursing facilities or rehab facilities, and expensive—often avoidable—emergency room visits. Our experience serving an aging population has provided a solid framework to expand on what we can do in the home, across different populations.

 

“…home health is the least expensive place of service…”

There is also already a strong consumer preference for healthcare at home, with no fewer than 90 percent of seniors wanting to stay at home as they age, according to an American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) survey. We believe most Americans share that preference, not just seniors.  

At Amedisys, we are looking for collaborations that target value as the goal—value for patients, caregivers and the payor sources that fund our healthcare programs. There is a right balance, and we can align incentives to deliver industry-leading quality, better manage the appropriate utilization of services and total cost of care.

With increasing pressures on healthcare affordability, we—home healthcare companies, payors, health systems ACOs and other providers—have to be willing to put in what it takes to create a truly collaborative approach to finding a solution that better leverages the home.

COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS

What do we mean by collaborative approach? Let’s find a unified view of the problem we’re trying to solve together, agree that we’re striving to align incentives, seek scalability and then realign population goals. Let’s then look to leverage EMR and care management system integration, real-time data exchange, the use of advanced predictive analytics, industry-leading clinical programs and patient engagement solutions, discharge planning tools, action-oriented health risk assessments as well as proactive engagement in preventative management programs outside of home healthcare to help better manage a patient’s chronic conditions. These are just a few. Why can’t we do this and more together?

 

“At Amedisys, we are looking for collaborations that target value as the goal.”

Amedisys is an ideal strategic partner to help align incentives that seek to solve population health needs and affordability challenges for patients, health plans, health systems, ACOs, conveners, utilization management companies and other post-acute care niche players. We have industry-leading outcomes, leverage the lowest cost and most preferred place of service, have great patient satisfaction and enable further integration of the healthcare delivery system.

Home health might be late to the table, but the best is yet to come. Amedisys is finding new ways to explore and expand the role of home healthcare. This means we are already working hard to help reframe the value proposition, and we want to do more together.

Christy Vitulli is the SVP of Payor Relations & Network Innovation for Amedisys. For inquiries about your partnership with Amedisys, contact us at payorcontracting@amedisys.com.

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