Home Health Needs to Roll with the Changes

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Home Health Needs to Roll with ChangesWere you aware that HHS has approved 259 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that represent 8% of the Medicare population? Nearly half are physician-led and serve fewer than 10,000 Medicare patients, according to The Advisory Board Co. With the announcement of the latest list, at least one ACO now exists in every state.

This fact serves as another reminder that the status quo will no longer suffice if you want your agency to not simply survive – but to thrive – over the next few years. Accountable care is coming to the forefront because it aligns incentives in a patient-focused way, but care transitions and hospital-at-home programs also are gaining in popularity.

Univita Health is partnering with major insurers and hospital systems to set up care transition programs that include both clinical and non-clinical services. What are the hospitals, physician groups, insurers and community-service groups in your area doing to help folks stay at home?

As a whole, healthcare is moving away from a fee-for-service environment toward capitation, which was last seen during the managed care environment of the 1980s. That generally was considered a failed experiment, but the industry has grown since then in its knowledge of population health. This growth has been fueled largely by powerful analytic programs that can distill huge amounts of data into manageable, actionable chunks.

And that’s your challenge: Breaking down what your agency does to help patients recover from hospital stays, to regain mobility, and to thrive at home in a way that demonstrates your value to partners and potential partners.

Anyone can become constrained by the business models they’ve trained in and the regulations they’ve learned. They can lose the ability to think outside the box, to put aside preconceived notions and to think about what’s possible. But if you and your agency can’t learn to think outside the box, someone else will.

Home health software can assist your agency in moving forward with change by facilitating improved care quality and documentation.

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