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HCHB Customers in the News: April 2023

HCHB Customers in the News

HCHB customers demonstrated thought leadership in March through public acknowledgement of their CMOs and sharing insights on a variety of topics including hospital-at-home, staff safety and expectation for the market in 2024. Check out the highlights below.

Becker’s Hospital Review List Highlights HCHB Customers

Becker’s hospital Review published its 110 hospital and health system chief medical officers to know | 2023 List. CMOs from several HCHB customer agencies were highlighted in the list. Congratulations to:

  • Michael Cuffe, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at HCA Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn
  • Joseph Parra, MD. CMO of Medical City Healthcare, North Texas Division of HCA Healthcare (Dallas).
  • Gary Little, MD. Senior Vice President and CMO, Greater Charlotte Region of Atrium Heath (Charlotte, N.C.).
  • Erik Summers, MD. CMO at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.).
  • Daniel Roth, MD. Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.).
  • Conrad Vial, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.).
  • Robert Wiebe, MD. CMO of CommonSpirit Health (Chicago).
  • Andrew Mayo, MD. CMO at St. Croix Hospice.

Read the full list here.

HCHB Customers Share Views on Medicare Advantage

HCHB Customers Elara Caring and Healing Hands Healthcare spoke with Home Health Care News about how to make the most out of the growth of Medicare Advantage. Scott Powers, CEO of Elara Caring explained “From our perspective, we’re definitely a scaled platform and we’re coming from a position of strength because we’ve been very selective about what Medicare Advantage business we’ll take and which agreements we’ll operate in.”

Summer Napier, CEO of Healing Hands Healthcare included contract insights in her advice: “If your direct cost is $97 but you accept a contract that pays you $70 a visit, it won’t be long before your organization is out of business. You need to know if those contracts include supply cost or do not include supply cost. Not paying attention to the intricate details tucked away in a managed care contract can make or break you. You need to know what their payment time frames are so you can predict cash flow accurately.” Read the rest of the article here.

HCHB Customers Weigh in on Hospital at Home

A recent article from Home Health Care News cited Elara Caring, Amedisys and LHC in a discussion Home Health agencies involvement in higher acuity care in the home. Paul Kusserow, former CEO of Amedisys stated in January: “We’re also seeing hospitals that tried to do [hospital at home] on their own and fundamentally realized it’s way too complex for them to do on their own, and therefore they’re coming back to us and wanting to form JVs with us.”

Scott Powers, CEO of Elara Caring expanded on this thought: “[It] gets to some of the strains that you’re seeing in the hospital balance sheets, for example, as you’re finding hospitals really have to decide what they’re going to be good at. One of those things is determining how to use their partners as best they can to care for their patients, and those are examples of where we’ve been asked to look at different capabilities and are investigating if we want to go into those at scale.”

LHC Group has also shared their progress towards higher acuity care partnerships as part of the Optum. The company has teamed up with SCP Health to work on “advanced care at home” models. Read the full article here.

VNS Health and Elara Caring Discuss Staff Safety Measures

Leaders from Elara Caring and VNS Health sat down with Home Health Care News to share their approaches to ensuring the safety of their staff when they visit patients’ homes. VNS Health employs a cross functional team dedicated to safety and awareness. “They meet on a very regular basis to ensure that all of our policies, processes and practices are kept current. And [to make sure] that we are continuously listening to our employees’ voices.” The company also uses the AlertMedia app and offers self-defense and safety awareness courses. They also offer counseling and escort services to help with transportation when an employee feels unsafe.

Elara Caring has built a workforce violence prevention strategy that offers training on recognizing and controlling hazards, de-escalation and escape techniques. The company’s safety committees “roll up and report to an enterprise risk management committee that analyzes trends in workplace violence incidents, and also analyzes near misses to identify what additional training or support we can provide”. Read the rest of the article here.

VNS Calls for Home Health Funding in New York

Dan Savitt, president and CEO of VNS Health, a not-for-profit home and community-based health care organization submitted an opinion piece featured on timesunion.com. In the article, Savitt points out that VNS Health had to turn away 11,000 hospital patients because of a lack of staff and that 75% of New York’s home health agencies had negative margins in 2021, making it difficult for agencies to stay afloat with current reimbursement rates. Savitt is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to include home health agencies in Medicaid rate increases. Read the full article here.

Gentiva Announces Largest Purchase of 2023 So Far

Gentiva agreed to purchase Heartland Hospice for $710 million, the largest hospice deal of the year so far. The acquisition will increase the company’s footprint by 120 hospice locations, 15 home health locations, 4,000 employees and 10,000 patients. Read the rest of the article here.

Amedisys’ Future Under New CEO

Richard Ashworth was announced as the new leader of Amedisys, replacing interim CEO Paul Kusserow in April. Ashworth’s experience working with MA Payors at Tivity Health and his time as President of Walgreens Co. developed the skills Amedisys has been looking for in its next leader. “Richard is the right leader to shepherd Amedisys into the future as he is uniquely positioned to lead the company with his proven track record of developing and executing on strategies specific to labor and staffing, payer relationships, operational efficiencies, and new business and product development. These are all capabilities we are excited to have, and he has the full support of the board.” Ashworth sat down with Home Health Care News to discuss the future of the company. Read the full article here.

Addus Shares Strategies and Outlook for 2023

Home Health Care News outlined Addus HomeCare Corporation’s progress regarding several focus-areas in multiple articles this past month. Some of the topics covered in the articles included Addus’ retention progress, M&A focus for 2023, payor diversification and value-based care strategies. Addus has reported an impressive reduction in its turnover rate. The company is down to 55%, well below the average for personal care companies. The company is continuing its efforts by focusing on training and utilizing ARPA funds for bonus and retention programs. Read the rest of the article here.

Chairman and CEO Dirk Allison sat down with HHCN to talk about the company’s future plans. He is happy with the progress the company has made diversifying its payor mix and expressed that the states have started to show their understanding of the value of home care. Meanwhile the company is carefully looking at M&A opportunities but is focused mostly on smaller deals. “We’ve seen a lot of smaller deals that are starting to recognize valuation change. The larger deals are what we’re waiting on, and so far they’re still struggling with selling an asset at a lower rate than they could have a year ago.” Read the full article here.

The addition of Health Dixon to the company’s board of directors was also announced this month. She is filling the spot left by Steven Geringer and will serve on the audit committee. “One of our top priorities is to have a board of directors that brings together individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds to create balanced, objective, and thoughtful decision-making that supports sound corporate governance practices and best serves shareholder interests. Heather brings extensive financial and strategic experience across leading health and wellness companies that complements the work and expertise of our other board members.” Read the rest of the article here.

Pennant Names New Chairman

The Pennant Group Inc. announced the appointment of Barry Smith as the chairman of its board of directors after Daniel Walker. Brent Guerisoli, currently CEO will serve as a member and shared his outlook in the company’s press release: “In every part of my Pennant journey, I have seen the incredible impact of individual leaders united by our mission, culture and operating principles. I look forward to joining Barry on the board and working closely with these distinguished leaders to drive the organization forward.” Read the full article here.

CenterWell Expectations Outlined for 2023 and 2024

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard and CFO Susan Diamond shared their perspectives on CenterWell’s future at the Cowen’s 43rd Annual Health Care Conference. Some of the leader’s highlights included statements that CenterWell’s provider assets are doing “quite well” and that its primary care services are expected to accelerate home health utilization. The company’s approach to the value-based care model is also driving a future reduction of Medicare admissions and an anticipated growth in Medicare Advantage business. Read the rest of the article here.

Enhabit Makes Progress with MA Negotiations

Enhabit Home Health provided an encouraging update on their well-documented MA efforts. The company has been focusing on re-negotiating and creating new, more beneficial contracts with regional payors that have a 0-10% discount rather than a discount of up to 40%. The company has completed 18 of more favorable contracts and has 35 more in the pipeline. Read the full article here.

Legacy Hospice Acquires Safe Harbor Hospice

Legacy Hospice is expanding its Missouri footprint with the acquisition of Safe Harbor Hospice. The company serves many rural communities across seven states. CEO Clark Blair shared his thoughts on the purchase: “We feel the opportunity to grow Safe Harbor is tremendous. Since Feb. 2021, Legacy has organically grown our census by over 63%. We are actively integrating our state-of-the-art technology into the Safe Harbor location, along with extensive employee education and training so they can experience the same results.” Read the rest of the article here.

St. Croix’s Leadership Team Makes News

St. Croix Hospice expanded their leadership team through promotions and new hires this past month. “We are pleased to be expanding the expertise on our leadership team as St. Croix Hospice continues to grow in response to the need for expert hospice care throughout the Midwest,” CEO Heath Bartness said in a statement. “Mark Marjala is a proven leader who we are excited to bring on board to support and grow the best hospice caregiving team in the industry. In addition, we have recognized the contributions that both Eric Lewis and Bronwyn Pope have made in support of the health and growth of St. Croix Hospice through their work to build and lead teams which will continue to be essential to the organization’s success and planned growth.” Read the full article here.

Hospice News also shared an interview with St. Croix’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andrew Mayo. The executive was recently included in Becker Healthcare’s list of Top 110 CMOs to Know. During the interview Mayo touched on a variety of topics ranging from telehealth to technology and the regionalization of physician coverage. Read the rest of the article here.

Transitions Care CEO Takes a Personal Approach to Business

Jim Palazzo, CEO of Transitions Care spoke with Hospice News about how important a personal approach is for growing hospice businesses. “You really need to put your money where your mouth is. If people go out and preach the heart and soul of the organization, then as a leader you have to ensure that we live up to that expectation….If somebody requires hospice, they probably needed it weeks ago or months ago, so it’s really important to be able to do an admission in two hours and have everything set up for a family and get the medications and equipment and supplies.” Read the full article here.

Atrium Health Partners with Best Buy for Hospital at Home Program

Best Buy and Atrium Health announced a three-year partnership to leverage Advocate Health’s hospital-at-home program and Best Buy’s technology expertise. Best Buy has been working on breaking into the healthcare market with Current Health, a care-at-home technology platform that includes remote patient monitoring, telehealth and patient engagement tools. Read the rest of the article here.

Vital Caring’s Culture Goals

April Anthony opened up to Home Health Care News about the culture she is working to create at her new home-based care organization. “I think most people, as caregivers, entered this industry because they wanted to be great, they wanted to make an impact, they wanted to be that person who changed someone’s life for the better. Then, in the health care space, that ethos often gets sucked out of those ambitious and well-intentioned employees. We’ve got to find a way as an organization to pour back into our people. Because every day, I’m going to say ‘Go out there and give everything you’ve got to the patients, empty yourself today.’ And I can’t say that every day unless I’m willing to refill them.” Read the full article here.

Elara Caring Talks Optimization

Scott Powers, CEO of Elara Caring opened up about the company’s lean initiatives in an article on technology for Home Health Care News. “We’ve got a variety of lean initiatives around how we optimize. It’s one of the biggest pain points in our business. It only got worse with PDGM. We’re really looking hard and taking an outside-in view of how to take technology to that particular problem.” Read the rest of the article here.

AngMar Medical Holdings Upgrades Training

Retention and HHVBP led AngMar Medical Holdings to change its approach to staff assessments and training. The company switched from pen and paper assessment methods to a digital system that allows staff to achieve the training they need to advance their careers online. Additionally, this digital system allows the company to better utilize its staff’s specialized skill sets. Read the full article here.

Aveanna Defines “Preferred Payors”

Aveanna Healthcare Holdings is working hard to double the number of preferred payors the company is working with, but the company’s definition of preferred payor is key to this goal. According to CEO Jeff Shaner, a preferred payor “supports value-based care by offering us an above-market reimbursement rate and value-based payments in exchange for proven savings.” Working with preferred payors allows the company to hire at greater rates than its competitors and fuel a robust managed care pipeline. Aveanna is also focused on advocating for rate increases in Texas, Oklahoma and California. Read the rest of the article here.

BAYADA Expands its Home Health Services in North Carolina

BAYADA Home Health Care has agreed to purchase two home health locations from community-based health care provider, HealthKeeperz. David Baiada, CEO of BAYADA Home Health Care shared his thoughts about the acquisition in this statement: “We look forward to welcoming the HealthKeeperz Home Health staff and patients into the BAYADA family, and to work together through this mission-aligned partnership to continue to improve health care outcomes in our region.” The company is focused on minimizing the impact for the current HealthKeeperz employees, patients and partners in Fayetteville and Laurinburg as they transition to BAYADA’s management and operating platforms. Read the full article here.

Stillwater Hospice Gains New Team Members in Merger

Stillwater Hospice, a nonprofit organization based in Indiana, announced its merger with Kosciusko Home Care & Hospice (KHCH). The merger will help address workforce shortage struggles and keep up with the costs of providing care. KHCH’s staff will become Stillwater Hospice employees as part of the merger and will gain access to Stillwater’s benefits. Read the rest of the article here.