HCHB Customers have been busy discussing their latest strategies for extending care into personal, palliative, managed care and more. Check out the latest industry insights in the recap below.
HCHB Customers and 2023 Trends
HCHB customers, LHC Group, Aveanna, Enhabit, the Pennant Group, Amedisys, VNH Health, AccentCare, and Bayada Home Health Care were all cited in a Home Health Care News article predicting 2023 trends. Homecare Homebase’s advocacy with CMS and our efforts sharing industry data were also noted in the article. Read the rest of the article here.
CenterWell and Enhabit Share Headwind-Facing Strategies
Although some agencies are beginning to gain traction with recruiting and retention, staffing woes seem to be here to stay. CenterWell Home Health is taking action to help address long term staffing needs. The company is forming strategic relationships with universities to add home health to clinical rotations and has even opened up a simulation home health lab for nursing students at Emory University. “They’re going to learn about social determinants of health. They’re going to learn about how to really look at that patient in their home, learn about the diet, learn about loneliness, and all the aspects that impact patients well-being and patient outcome.”
Enhabit shared it’s new approach to risk bearing opportunities with MA plans to diversify the company’s payor mix. “We all need to behave fairly. The conversations we’re trying to have [are around that] two-way street. We should be demanding more, but the plan should be expecting more from us. For some, their pain point is access, for some it is timely initiation of care, for others their pain point is member satisfaction. “There are so many things that we can be the solution to.” Read the full article here.
Enhabit Appoints General Counsel
Dylan Black has been named general counsel for Enhabit Home Health and Hospice. He brings more than 24 years of legal experience with publicly traded companies to the table. Enhabit President and CEO Barb Jacobsmeyer shared a statement welcoming him to the team. “We are excited to welcome Dylan to the Enhabit team. He has served as a trusted legal advisor to many organizations, and we look forward to the leadership and contributions he will bring to Enhabit.” Read the rest of the article here.
Enhabit Growth Plans
Enhabit Home Health and Hospice is seeking to increase the overlap between its home health and hospice services with a focus on opening new hospice locations. The company plans to open 20 hospice de novos annually in existing home health markets and devote 60-70% of its annual acquisition budget to hospice. This strategy is expected to improve care transitions, value-based care offerings and strengthen the company’s position with MA payors. President and CEO Barb Jacobsmeyer expanded on the company’s plans. “We have the quality and efficiency to be well-positioned for value-based care, collaborating with various alternative payment models. The outcomes from those types of arrangements give us data to present our value proposition to various non-Medicare plans too. It’s really about bringing our data and sitting down with these plans to say here’s the high-quality that we bring. We’re committing to timely access to care, but we need to be paid fairly.” Read the full article here.
CenterWell Home Health Paired with Primary Care
Susan Diamond, CFO of Humana explained CenterWell’s plan to use primary care services as a referral driver for home health and other key branches of the care continuum. “We’ll roll out the value-based model and that will inherently get more people in the [home health] model, but what we really want to see is our [primary care] physicians working with our home health assets to ask, ‘When you were serving my patients, why were you seeing readmissions? What is it that’s needed?’” Read the rest of the article here.
Amedisys Challenges Conveners
Industry leaders in homebased care are continuing to push for direct relationships with MA payors over working through conveners. Paul Kusserow, CEO of Amedisys Inc. added his voice to the effort during J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “Right now, I can take better care of the plan’s patients than a convener can. That’s the conversation we’ve been having. If they don’t change, their day is coming to an end. They’re good at … making sure people who are in SNFs actually go into the home, and they save lots of post-acute costs that way. The conveners continue to push on very difficult pricing and managing visits where they don’t really have the knowledge of producing the best outcomes.” Read the rest of the article here.
Amedisys Prioritizes Palliative Care
Paul Kusserow expanded on the importance of palliative care in Amedisys’ growth strategy during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January. The provider is focused on expanding its care continuum and offering palliative care and high-acuity care in more markets. “We’re excited to be able to do at-risk palliative in the home. We’re moving towards value. We’re moving towards taking risk, which means doing what we say and taking that level of risk to keep people in the home.” Read the full article here.
The Path Forward for Amedisys
Paul Kusserow, Amedisys’ CEO sat down with Home Health Care News to discuss his focus areas now that he has returned to the helm of the company. Unsurprisingly, one of his main priorities is recruiting and retaining excellent employees. Other focuses include; strengthening case-rate models with MA payors, centralization and hospital at home through Contessa. He also spoke about the regulatory battles that have been going on in Washington. “My concern is the game that we play with CMS. It is a long, exhausting game, where they come up with proposed significant cuts. The whole industry gets all worked up about it and runs to Washington, D.C. We lobby, lobby, lobby, they get a lot of pressure, and then they come back with something that is just mediocre. It’s not enough for us to get Congress all worked up about it and to pass legislation. But it’s enough to keep us in purgatory. I think we have to get through this dribbling sense of inadequate reimbursement. Ultimately, that’s going to add up. I’d say the government is getting what it wants, which is I think is consolidation.” Read the full article here.
The Link Between Managed Care and Home Health
Paul Kusserow, the CEO of Amedisys discussed the growing link between managed care companies and home health organizations at a dinner hosted by Jefferies Financial Group. “Managed-care companies are showing increasing interest in partnering with or potentially owning home nursing operators in order to reduce the cost of care for patients with chronic conditions.” Read the rest of the article here.
Serenity First Hospice Weighs in on Business Performance
Serenity First Hospice Founder, Debbie Johnston shared her perspective and tips for other hospice agencies seeking to stay on top of spending in a recent article with Hospice News. “We’re on a fixed, per-day price. For that day, we have to monitor costs because it has to include everything. Just think about it all the pharmacy needs, the nursing needs, the clergy needs, the supply needs, the equipment needs. When a person first comes to us, we usually provide a hospital bed, oxygen, medications and then the staff. So it’s just a lot of things to take into consideration.” Read the full article here.
LHC Group Acquisition Update
UnitedHealthcare CEO Andrew Witty commented on the pending purchase of LHC Group and the company’s newfound focus on homebased care. “I’d really think about the way we’ve built the home capabilities as a substantial extension of what we’re able to do in the clinical space … That’s a super important part of the environment.” Dr. Wyatt Decker, CEO of Optum clarified further “We view home health as one of the new frontiers of providing value-based health care because of the convenience it provides. It provides the ability to access people, like dual special needs patients, that often have great difficulty leaving their home to get care.” In home services have reduced hospital visits for Optum’s value-based patients by 15% while achieving an NPS of 80. These results have led to a lot of interest in growing the organization’s value-based home care capabilities combined with MA plans. Read the rest of the article here.
Elara Caring Becoming a Care Quarterback
Elara Caring is developing partnerships with primary care and psychiatric providers to improve care for patients with mental and behavioral health needs. Since the pandemic started, the organization has increased its behavioral health services from 2 to 9 states. “We’re looking at how to partner with primary care or psychiatric providers to do a total cost of care from either an episodic perspective, or a full total cost of care perspective, where we are essentially the quarterback of their care. Roughly 50% of individuals going into senior living or a SNF have elevated anxiety or depression. Our nurses are really trained in supporting their behavioral health diagnosis.” Read the full article here.
Elara Caring Announces New CMO
Elara Caring has named Dr. Kevin Henning chief medical officer. Dr. Henning served as the medical director at TeamHealth and chief medical officer at US Post Acute Care as well as chief medical director at Amedisys before joining the Elara Caring team. “I have been deeply impressed by Elara’s commitment to addressing the holistic needs of patients and clients, as well as the quality of their leadership team and their culture of caring, which is evident in every facet of the company. I am looking forward to contributing to this vital organization that lives and promotes values I share, including service, integrity and innovation.” Read the full article here.
Interim HealthCare of the Upstate Talks QAPI
Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs are a popular way to audit and drive quality improvements operationally and clinically. With the nationwide expansion of HHVBP QAPI programs also have the potential to positively affect an organization’s bottom line. Charles McDonough, CEO of Interim HealthCare of the Upstate commented on their QAPI program approach in an article with Home Health Care News. “It’s about making sure we continue to move the needle related to our quality of care efforts. That has always been the basis. We want to make sure we continue to better ourselves. If there are areas that we feel that we are deficient in, or we want to continue to grow, we focus on those areas from a clinical quality of care standpoint.” In addition to Interim, the article also features perspectives from MedBridge, one of HCHB’s preferred partners. Read the full article here.
Addus HomeCare Shares Dealmaking Tips
Addus HomeCare is busy on the M&A front, building up all three of the company’s offered service lines in every area it provides care. Cliff Blessing, executive vice president and chief development officer shared tips for companies interested in making deals in a recent article with Home Health Care News. “We try to avoid some of these potential landmines by asking key questions prior to submitting a letter of intent, and talking openly about the diligence process and expectations of the buyer. We like to see the ability to provide high-quality care, a capable management team and a strong history of growth. We also want to see financial performance continue to improve and be sustainable.” Read the rest of the article here.
St. Croix Hospice Shares Predictive Model Success
St. Croix Hospice adopted Medalogix Muse in 2020 and has seen tremendous success. “I really view it as a sixth vital sign,” said Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andrew Mayo. “It provides our clinical team with additional information that helps them make decisions about care … It can trigger increased involvement at a time where patients, their families and caregivers may need increased hospice involvement and guidance.” Medalogix is an HCHB preferred partner. Read the full article here.
Jet Health Share MA Negotiation Tips
Large Medicare Advantage plans are increasingly turning to home-based care companies to help address managed care needs for beneficiaries. Jet Health discussed the need for realistic partnerships with large MA payors. “We were under water with one of our large providers. We had to decide, do we stay in-network with some really poor rates that were under what our per-visit rate was, or do we exit? It was an extremely difficult decision for us because it was a market that we had been in for a very long time — referral sources that depended on us, patients that depended on us.” Read the full article here.
AccentCare Discusses JV Formation
Stephan Rodgers shared reasons for AccentCare’s JV partnership prioritization at Home Care 100 2023 in Orlando, Florida. “There’s a lot of services we can do, but we need physicians and others following these patients effectively for us to execute on these strategies and have the impacts that we want. We’re really looking at how we actually create those anchor partnerships with these large health systems that basically allow us to create sustainable growth within those marketplaces, but do it in a way that we actually feel we can deliver the best care.” Read the rest of the article here.