VNAA CEO Sees ‘Incredible Opportunity’ for Home Health Agencies

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
VNAA CEO Sees ‘Incredible Opportunity’ for Agencies

Although Tracey Moorhead began her tenure as president and CEO at Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) just last year, she may already be the industry’s biggest advocate.

Speaking during the recent McKesson Home Health & Hospice Executive Summit, Moorhead says she sees an “incredible opportunity” for the country’s home health and hospice agencies. At the same time, she acknowledges the unprecedented changes that are transforming the industry, noting that every aspect of healthcare has already undergone – or is undergoing – the same changes.

“I see an opportunity for home health to increase market share in post-acute services,” Moorhead says. “Home health is less expensive and patients prefer to be cared for in their homes. How is home health not the default discharge site for the majority of post-acute care services?”

Moorhead joined VNAA from the Care Continuum Alliance, which recently changed its name to the Population Health Alliance to better reflect its role in population health, disease management, wellness and prevention programs.

The VNAA represents nonprofit providers of home health, hospice and palliative care and health promotion services. There are more than 3,200 nonprofit providers in the U.S. About half of VNAA member agencies are participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) or patient-centered medical homes. Fifteen percent are engaged in risk-based contracting, which Moorhead believes represents the future for home care payment.

Home care should be the hub of the healthcare continuum, around which flows acute care, chronic care, long-term care, hospice and preventive services, Moorhead says. Home health is particularly well-suited to initiatives such as ACOs that stress quality care at lower costs.

She sees opportunities for agencies that can:

  • Leverage care transitions
  • Control costs
  • Manage admissions and avoid readmissions

“I believe strongly that the more (the industry) speaks together and works together that everyone will benefit,” Moorhead says. She adds that VNAA seeks productive collaborations and partnerships with all stakeholders.

Next: VNAA’s new (and free!) Blueprint for Excellence best practices

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