Survival Guide: Ways Home Health Can Collaborate Across the Continuum

By Chris Nave | August 17, 2017

Rapid changes have come in waves for several years, but the biggest splash is yet to come. In 2019, the new CMS payment model could lead to a $950 million Medicare payment cut for home health providers. So you can understand why in this year’s Remington Leadership Conference the theme was “Maximize Your Growth and Partnerships with Actionable Strategies.”

I almost prefer to say “maximize your growth with partnerships and actionable strategies.” You’re not just a provider; you’re now a patient navigator. If you only think of yourself as only a home health provider you won’t survive. Here are the key takeaways from the 13th Annual Leadership & Clinical Summit that will help home health agencies survive.

1. ACOs and APMs

Pay attention to the growth of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and other Alternative Payment Models (APMs). More than 10 percent of the U.S. population is now covered by one of these contracts. This growth equates to greater competition for market share. Home health agencies are going to find themselves competing with home health agencies, with an impact on the workforce. Hospitals are using nurses and nurse practitioners to go into homes, no longer reaching out to home health before entering a patient’s home.

CMS reports the ACOs that work with Medicare beneficiaries have improved quality in 84 percent of all indicators. That number is telling in how far the movement toward value-based care has gone. With post-acute providers proven to help in lowering admission and readmission rates, it’s your opportunity to present yourself as a strong partner in improving quality scores.

2. Figure out chronic care management

To survive, it can no longer be just about primary care. Physicians’ practices are expanding their core competencies, meaning they’re turning to home health as an external care manager. So position your competencies for chronic care patients.

Chronic care management helps connect value-based delivery models to the physicians. These programs require around the clock management for the patients, so your agency has the opportunity to present itself as the strategic partner in keeping the care consistent, providing communication between patients and caregivers and the management of care transitions, hospital discharges and emergency room visits.

 3. Population health

Population health is where healthcare is headed. This approach to health aimed at improving the health of an entire population is one of the market drivers in home health. This movement transforms medical practices to focus on coordinated care across the continuum that forces hospitals, physicians and home health to collaborate.

In this model, there’s a strong opportunity to engage the patient with a jointly-developed care plan and there are systems available to enable to the patient to track their own care. With the patient’s buy-in, you’ll see improved outcomes.

The main takeaway from the Remington Conference is a simple, yet strong thought to consider. Help patients navigate their way across the continuum of care.

Our home health team understands your business needs first hand and are ready to help. Learn more about how we can serve as a strategic partner.

Categories: Expert Views, Healthcare Segment News, Patient Experience

Chris Nave

Senior Vice President of Sales for Homecare Division

Chris Nave is the Senior Vice President of Sales for the Homecare Division at Medline. Nave has spent more than 10 years with Medline’s Homecare Division, helping to lead home health sales teams delivering solutions and products. Nave graduated from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va., with a BS in marketing.

View All Stories From This Author