5 Home Health CEOs tease plans and priorities for 2023
The end of the year tends to ignite a fire among those looking to achieve their organization’s goals.
That’s how it has been for some of Home Health’s top executives over the last three months of the year.
In the remaining months of 2022, homecare leaders are focused on addressing the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) pending payment rule and implementing new programs to improve care delivery, staff continuity and more.
To learn more about what providers have in store, Home Health Care News asked five CEOs to break down their plans for the rest of the year and how achieving those goals would propel their companies forward.
Better Life Home Health – Alivia Care’s Home Health Arm – currently focused on two areas. One is a better mix of payers, which means fewer claims and more Medicare and VA.
The other is improving the patient and family experience by consistently engaging the same staff with the patient and family during care; and the introduction of more care-focused programs to address the specific needs of patients referred to us from acute care.
In relation to the patient and family experience, we are moving away from a transactional focus on the patient’s injury, illness or condition and are looking at how, where possible, we can ensure that the same staff are consistently engaged with the same patients. Doing this consistently will help build trust and we believe it will allow us to serve as a guide as the patient and family move through the phase of care, which will also impact readmission should. We place a special focus on ensuring that we involve the family and are very active in seeking and reflecting on the patient’s goals, concerns and needs, both at the outset of care and throughout the time we are providing care. We use an SMS tool so patients and their caregivers can give us timely feedback so we can make adjustments and meet expectations. We firmly believe that consumers are more educated, empowered and expect to be more involved in their care and decisions, and will favor agencies that understand this. In doing so, we are addressing rising consumerism in healthcare and hopefully improving the patient and caregiver experience.
We are also developing and planning to launch the first of our care-focused programs, which will address cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation and will focus on outcomes for specific patient types. This is the first of many nursing-oriented or specialized nursing programs that we intend to develop and implement in our service area. We believe that a clinically specific program, tailored to the individual patient’s needs, allows us to improve outcomes and help those who made the referral, such as the hospital and doctor, to know that we can achieve good results for them patients.
– Susan Ponder-Stansel, President and CEO of Alivia Care Inc.
One of Jet Health’s goals is to remain focused on our clinicians as key contributors to the company’s success. We have invested significantly in recruitment initiatives to attract qualified members to our team. In addition to the flexibility offered by many home care and hospice providers, Jet Health encourages continuous skill development through clinical ladder advancement, program specialization and technology utilization, all designed to enhance the care and satisfaction of our professionals. Optimizing the staffing levels in each of the company’s agencies, coupled with the appropriate expertise, will enable the organization to best serve the communities in which we operate.
Another goal is to expand the use of technology to complement our existing delivery model. The use of technology such as B. remote patient monitoring – allows our physicians to be alerted to subtle status changes of our patient base between in-person visits so we can address them, mitigating the possibility of significant concerns. Televisits can be arranged quickly after triage has addressed all needs, and then interventions can be implemented. We believe this approach will result in fewer hospital admissions, better informed patients, improved communication and better overall outcomes.
The implementation of these initiatives will provide Jet Health’s clinicians and professionals with the necessary tools and ability to care for higher acute level patients in the home setting and better position them to meet the complex and challenging needs to meet an ever-evolving health care system.
– Stacie Bratcher, CEO of Jet Health
Externally, AccentCare focuses on the political issues facing our community. Legal or regulatory relief from the proposed cuts in home health care is our top priority. We share the community’s concerns about the methodology CMS is using to interpret Congressional intent on PDGM budget neutrality and believe a delay is reasonable and necessary to ensure patient access to home healthcare services. If CMS does not withdraw the payment reduction portion of the proposed rule, every effort will be made to support the efforts of our Congressional home health advocates to include the Preservation of Access to Home Health Act in the year-end must-pass package.
Internally, AccentCare remains focused on the employee experience and will remain so for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. After listening to our employees, we double down on the culture we strive to reinvent care together. Part of this is responding to the need for a better understanding of the communities we serve. By the end of the year, over 300 AccentCare leaders will have completed a rigorous 10-week intrinsic inclusion course, a process led by our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. We will be expanding this training to more of our employees over the next year and also continuing a process to build sustainable DEI efforts into our community outreach plans. We see tremendous benefits in increasing access to communities that have historically been underserved by home care organizations.
– Stephan Rodgers, CEO of AccentCare
A key focus for VNS Health is continuing to work with the federal government and CMS, as well as our industry peers, to reverse the multi-year Medicare home health care payment cut of 7.69%, scheduled to begin in 2023. Using our own data, we were able to quantify the impact of these cuts on providers already struggling with labor shortages, making it even more difficult for them to keep up with growing demand for home health care, particularly in underserved communities. Our efforts now aim to persuade the Biden administration to remove the cuts from the final rule, due to be issued by November 1, and to work with stakeholders on a reimbursement policy that meets the needs of providers .
Another important goal of VNS Health is to market and sell services to external healthcare organizations through our professional solutions group. We’ve leveraged our experience managing the highest-risk, medically complex members in our own health plan to create a solution for an external health plan, and we see the opportunity for other customers to benefit as well. We are launching our evidence-based assignment tool, HELPS, which uses algorithms to determine personal care needs, and we are actively involved in helping other organizations administer Medicare hospice benefits. We believe these efforts will advance both VNS Health and our industry.
— Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health
Visiting Nurse is focused on completing targeted projects in Q4 in preparation for the value-based home health purchasing model and upcoming rate cuts. We have made great strides in our nursing staff and in clinical practice to ensure our staff are prepared to deliver quality services in the new tariff environment. By achieving these goals, we will be better positioned to remain competitive in the current healthcare landscape.