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HCHB Customers in the News: October 2022

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In October, HCHB customers continued to lead the way in industry advocacy, shared strategies and experiences with value-based agreements and struck new and innovative deals. Check out this month’s highlights to learn more.

Homecare Homebase and HCHB Customers Weigh in on the Proposed Payment Rule

Homecare Homebase data found in HCHB’s comment letter to CMS was heavily referenced in two HHCN+ articles. Insights from HCHB executives and customers provided context for the data and explained how the proposed rule could both worsen access to care and further stretch an already stressed patient to client ratio. If the proposed rule is passed without changes, home health agencies will end up serving fewer patients. AccentCare CEO Steve Rodgers addressed this problem. ​“I think what you’re going to end up with are patients slipping through the system. Where it’s going to hurt most is exactly the area that CMS has said [needs more help].” Read the full articles here and here.

HCHB Customers Named in Fastest Growing US Companies List

Two hospice Homecare Homebase customers made Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fasted growing companies in the US. Traditions Health and Bridge Home Health & Hospice were both acknowledged in an article about Inc’s annual list on Hospice News. Bridge Home Health & Hospice has seen 527% growth. The company was formed in 2013 and includes 24 locations across California and Colorado. Bridge’s strategy focuses on opening de novo locations and purchasing dormant licenses. Traditions Health has grown 377%. The company completed over a dozen transactions in the last three years growing to over 75 locations. ​“We are honored to be recognized for the fourth year in a row by Inc. magazine,” said Traditions President and CEO David Klementz. ​“In the past three years we have experienced tremendous growth and being named to Inc. 5,000 again is a testament to our team’s relentless focus on providing exceptional patient care and superior clinical outcomes.” Read the rest of the article here.

HCHB Customers Share Thoughts Leading into 2023

Home Health Care News shared thought from several home health care CEOs in a recent article focused on planning for 2023. Stacie Brachter, CEO of Jet Health addressed the company’s continued focus on clinician retention and development, highlighting its clinical ladder advancement opportunities and specializations options for staff as well as the expansion of remote patient monitoring. AccentCare CEO, Stephan Rodgers discussed policy and advocacy needs within the industry as well as the company’s dedication to inclusion and community outreach. Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health also addressed the importance of industry advocacy and shared the company’s strategy for growth through its professional solutions group and HELPS tasking tool. President and CEO of VNHS, Dorothy M. Davis also discussed the completion of VBP projects to position the company for the upcoming year. Read the full article here.

HCHB Customers Bayada and VNA Health Discuss Behavioral Health Services

According to Mental Health America, over 20% of Americans are dealing with a mental illness. It is becoming increasingly attractive for home health and other home-based care companies to expand into behavioral health. Dr. Steve Landers, VNA Health Group President & CEO shared insight: ​“I think we’re primarily interested in behavioral health because we see a lot of suffering and gaps in care for people in the community. I cannot pinpoint exactly how people will do it, but I do expect more attention and program and service line development in mental and behavioral health within the home health and hospice sector, because there’s gaps in need. And that both presents an opportunity, I think, for entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.” Read the rest of the article here.

Agape Care Group Expands into Two More States

Agape Care Group announced the acquisition of Journey Hospice, which will bring the company into two more states, Alabama and Louisiana. The organization will now reach five states and serve over 3,700 patients. The acquisition is the fourth deal the company in 2022 in addition to de novo announcements. CEO Troy Yarborough commented on the deal: ​“A strong patient-focused culture in two markets across the Southeast that open additional expansion opportunity make Journey a great fit. Our near term focus is successful integration of our recent entries into North Carolina, Coastal Georgia and now Alabama and Louisiana.“ Read the rest of the article here.

Choice Health at Home Enters Personal Care 

Choice Health at Home purchased Instant Care of Arizona, a provider of in-home senior care and caregiving support in Maricopa County. Choice Health at Home’s growth plans include expanding its continuum of care services in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona. CEO David Jackson shed light on the company’s strategy: ​“When we think really along the lines of that full continuum [of home-based care], we are developing our provider line, or home health line and hospice. We have plans in those states within the next two quarters to really expand our footprint.” Read the full article here.

St. Croix Hospice Purchases Adaptive Hospice

St. Croix Hospice announced the latest addition to the company in a series of acquisitions and de novos. St. Croix agreed to purchase Adaptive Hospice from Help at Home. Adaptive Hospice includes three locations in Indiana. St. Croix Hospice President and CFO Stephen Phenneger shared some background for about the deal: ​“We have expressed interest in expanding into Indiana publicly and privately. We were contacted, along with other potential acquirers, by Help at Home as they were looking to divest of non-core hospice assets. ​“We were fortunate to be the party that Help at Home selected to be the future stewards of the business.” Read the rest of the article here.

Jet Health Inc. Acquires Trio Home Health Care and Hospice

Jet Health, Inc. announced the purchase of Texas-based Trio Home Health Care and Hospice. The company has locations across four states and provides skilled nursing, physical, speech and occupational therapy, as well as, home health, hospice, medical social services and personal care. ​“This latest acquisition fills our quest to expand our geographic footprint within our primary service areas,” said Jet Health CEO Stace Bratcher in a statement shared with Hospice News. ​“Texas marks the state with the most Jet Health-branded enterprises and is also home to our corporate headquarters. Now, with our 10 locations statewide, coupled with a strong, solid network of caregiving professionals throughout all our service areas, we are well-positioned to meet the home health care and hospice needs of Texans.” Read the full article here.

Addus HomeCare Corporation Purchases Apple Home Healthcare

Addus Homecare Corporation announced the acquisition of Apple Home Healthcare Ltd. Illinois is one of the states offering all three of Addus’ service lines. Apple Home Healthcare’s purchase will help expand Addus’ acquisition pipeline in the Chicago area and adds bandwidth to the company’s workforce. CEO and Chairman Dirk Allison spoke about the deals’ impact in Addus’ overall growth strategy: ​“We are continuing to identify similar strategic acquisitions that fit our mission and strategy. We have a proven record of creating value from our acquired operations and extending our market reach in key markets. We have a capital structure that supports our ability to extend this record of growth, and we look forward to the additional opportunities ahead for Addus.” Read the rest of the article here.

Enhabit Home Health and Hospice Purchases Caring Hearts Hospice

The acquisition of Caring Hearts Hospice was announced by Enhabit Home Health and Hospice this month. ​“We are thrilled to continue to grow Enhabit’s hospice service line and maintain our goal of supporting patients throughout their health care journey, in the comfort of home,” Jeanne Kalvaitis, executive vice president of hospice at Enhabit, told Hospice News. ​“The acquisition of Caring Hearts Hospice enables Enhabit to reach even more patients and families in need of high-quality, compassionate care. We continue to have a strong focus on our expansion efforts and look forward to all that lies ahead.” Read the full article here.

Enhabit CEO Shares Her Career Story

Home Health Care News shared Enhabit CEO, Barb Jacobsmeyer’s career history in a recent article. Jacobsmeyer shared advice for future leaders that she gleaned from her years as a clinician who was repeatedly pulled into leadership roles. ​“My best advice would be to focus on doing a really good job in your current job. ​“Because I do see so much looking at what somebody wants to be – next year, in two years, in three years. If that’s the sole focus, you’re going to lose focus on just doing a really good job.” Jacobsmeyer career has taken her from her first job as a physical therapist to CEO of one of the largest home health and hospice providers in the country. Read the rest of the article here.

Enhabit Chief Corporate Development Officer Shares Growth Strategies

Jay Duty, SVP and Chief Corporate Development Officer for Enhabit Home Health & Hospice discussed three strategic considerations the company has for future growth with Home Health Care News. Scale, market density and overlap strategy are the organizations’ key strategies. ​“There are a lot of home health and hospice companies where the idea is just to grow, get bigger and expand, put more dots on the map,” Duty said. “[For us], it’s more about assessing the market that we want to go into. Considering where are the opportunities that we think we can proactively take a look at — and then applying that strategy.” Read the full article here.

Amedisys Inc. Announces New Joint Venture

Amedisys Inc. is working with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide at-home care services in central Arkansas. The joint venture includes Amedisys, Contessa Health and the university. Contessa will provide recovery care, rehabilitation, palliative and primary care and Amedisys will provide home health services. ​“This full care at home platform will provide the Little Rock community greater access to care in the comfort of their own home. As UAMS looks to alleviate demand for hospital beds, this creates an opportunity to decant their medical center with a live program by early 2023, making it a much faster process than building physical beds within Little Rock.” Read the full article here.

VNS Health Share Insights on Training

Jim, Rolla, SVP of personal care at VNS Health shared insights on recruiting and training on a recent webinar by CareAcademy. Training is an essential part of a company’s retention strategy. You ​“have to think about … how you get your caregivers to think about another way of being able to learn or oriented and introduced into a new organization.” Read the rest of the article here.

Amedisys Comments Palliative Care Challenges

Jenn Booker, vice president of palliative care programs for Amedisys, Inc. discussed the challenges palliative care providers currently face with Hospice News. The lack of a standardized definition and payment mechanism creates uncertainty around who should receive care, what services they should receive and for how long. ​“Patients don’t have to be that sick to benefit from palliative care. Palliative care can and should be the standard foundation of care from the time a patient is diagnosed with a chronic, complex or life-limiting illness.” Read the full article here.

VNS Health Bring HELPS Tool to Public

VNS Health, one of the largest and oldest nonprofit home-and community-based health care organizations in the U.S. has created an analytics tool that they are now bringing to the public. The VNS Health HELPS Tool leverages data to generate personal care health plan recommendations. Since it started using the tool in April 2020, VNS has raised its assessment tool adherence rate from 26% to 74%. David O’Malley, senior vice president for product strategy at VNS Health MSO explained how the tool helps clinicians in a Home Health Care News article. ​“At the end of the day, a clinician can still make changes based on their judgment. But the HELPS tool is there as a data-driven guide to equip clinicians with a set of standards that has proven results.” Read the rest of the article here.

Bayada Home Health Care Expands ABA Services

Bayada Home Health announced the opening of the Bayada Pennsauken Center for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services in New Jersey. The new center will provide home and center-based care for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The company has provided ABA services in Hawaii and is using its experience as a foundation for expanding the service line moving forward. Jessica Shea-Brown, regional director of behavioral health services discussed the ABA expansion: ​“When it comes to the clinical services, we’re meeting families where they’re at. We’re doing a comprehensive assessment and really developing individual treatment plans with them. We’re making sure that we’re identifying goals that are meaningful for the family. As we’re helping with skill acquisition and achievement of developmental milestones, this can be done in the center, it could be done in the home, it could be done in both.” Read the full article here.

AccentCare Discusses Ways to Tackle Workforce Shortages

Rising recruiting costs paired with increased demand have created challenges that require a new approach to home-based care. Steve Rodgers, CEO of AccentCare shared his thoughts on ways the industry could make better use of the available workforce in a Home Health Care News article. ​“There seems to be a relatively unlimited demand from the health systems and other partners that we have across the system. We can’t fill all the orders that are coming into us, and a lot of that is predicated on an antiquated model that requires us to physically go see patients when we know we can be just as effective in other ways.” Read the rest of the article here.

Compassus Appoints New COO

Laura Templeton has been named the new COO and executive vice president of Compassus. Templeton has been working at Compassus since 2012 and rose through the ranks to senior vice president and chief of clinical operations before being appointed to her current role. ​“Templeton’s natural leadership skills and operational experience, combined with her nursing background, drive excellence across the enterprise to benefit patients and families that receive our care.” Read the full article here.

AccentCare Announces New Chief People Officer

David Cook, Jr. is assuming the role of AccentCare’s chief people officer after nearly three decades of human resource experience. Cook moved over to AccentCare’s team from TriHealth Health System in Cincinnati. ​“I am eager to utilize and promote the resources available at AccentCare that will attract and retain talent that will grow with the company,” Cook said in an announcement. ​“I want to celebrate the people who work here and the mission driven work that they accomplish.” Read the rest of the article here.

Healing Hands Healthcare Shares BPCI Experience

The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) Model is an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (AAPM) that is part of the Quality Care Program that was recently extended until 2025. Like ACO REACH this program allows home health organizations to collaborate with other providers to participate. Summer Napier, CEO of Healing Hands Healthcare shared her experience with the program. ​“We worked with an amazing orthopedic group, and had a 99% success rate of keeping patients out of the hospital on this bundle while they were on home health services.” But, ​“If you don’t understand the BPCI model and what you’re signing up for, you can lose on things that are outside of your control,” she said.​“Let’s say you take total risk, and you want to have a higher risk for a higher reward mindset. If you don’t have a great relationship with those physicians and you don’t have the ability to tell them the importance of having certain visits at certain times…they can ruin the whole thing.” Read the full article here.

Amedisys Contracts Directly with Aetna

Amedisys has been negotiating for better contracts with Medicare Advantage payors and announced a new deal with Aetna, owned by CVS Health. Amedisys CEO, Chris Gerard explained the importance of reaching new deals with payors: ​“In a world where clinical capacity is at a premium, we will not work with payers who fail to see the value that we deliver and the quality outcomes we provide for their members.” The new contract with Aetna will use a case rate system for reimbursement. In return, Amedisys will tie a portion of the case rate to quality metrics to help ensure quality of care. Amedisys has seen a significant increase in referrals and admissions since the deal. Read the rest of the article here.

Silverstone Hospice Grows 700% During Pandemic

Founder and CEO of Silverstone Hospice, Alfonso Montiel, discussed the company’s incredible growth over the past couple of years with Hospice News. Silverstone Hospice has grown 700% since 2020. Monteil became involved in hospice by volunteering and then invested his personal funds in the purchase of a hospice company. Silverstone offers palliative care services to help engage with families and convert referrals to hospice once it becomes appropriate. ​“Today, on average, one salesperson enrolls 20 to 30 patients a month, which is unheard of, because of the way we present ourselves is as an educational resource. We are caregivers, but before we can do that we have to be educators.” Read the full article here.

Hollie Trogon of PruittHealth Home Named Future Leader

Senior Vice President of PruittHealth Home, Hollie Trogdon has been named a Hospice News 2022 Future Leader. The Hospice News Future Leader program spotlights individuals who are 40 years old or younger and show passion and an ability to put vision into action as they advocate for caring for seniors. Trogdon’s role focuses on sales and business development operations. She shared her thoughts and vision for the industry moving forward. ​“I developed a passion for hospice outreach and advocacy after seeing the incredible care our team delivered and experiencing the hesitancy and fear of hospice in the community. When someone is touched by hospice within their own family you will hear them say what a difference it made and how supported they felt. When I experienced that impact myself, I wanted to do everything I could to bring awareness to it and ensure access to those who need it. I would love to see a palliative care Medicare benefit. Call us to the carpet on quality and cost savings, but give us a reimbursement structure that supports true interdisciplinary palliative care.” Read the rest of the article here.