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By Christopher Bradbury, CEO, IHCS

As CEO of Integrated Home Care Services, my top priority is ensuring we provide our patients and plan partners with the best possible outcomes. I’m proud of the work we are doing to enable more patients to receive quality care in their homes and achieve their goals.  To deliver on this, we are disrupting the historically, highly fragmented approach to home care in our country, as an innovative home care benefits manager as well as a provider of home care services through our home health, home infusion, and DME capabilities.  I am especially proud of the positive results we’re seeing—which include enhanced patient satisfaction, higher care quality, and more affordable healthcare.

These results become even more meaningful when I consider the millions of individuals we have the privilege to serve through our many health plan partners. The patient stories—from the grandfather who relied on our team to provide him with time-sensitive and life-sustaining home infusion services, to the grandmother for whom our team went above and beyond to obtain special approval from her health plan so that she could receive care from her preferred home care nurse—say more than any numbers ever could.

Recently, I accompanied some of our providers on their home care visits, and just as those patient stories do, the experience drove home for me, once again, the full meaning and value of our work and our approach. Here are four things that resonated with me most during those home care visits:

1

The importance of value-driven care.

Our partnerships with health plans are value-based, and as a result, we’re fully focused on the triple aim: higher patient satisfaction, better care quality, and improved affordability. Freedom from fee-for-service means that our team goes above and beyond to ensure that each patient is treated with the best care, dignity and respect. I saw the impact of this shift toward value during our home care visits, during which team members worked hard to create meaningful relationships with patients, develop personalized care plans, and then help patients achieve their goals.
2

The advantages of an integrated approach.

Unlike traditional home care models that suffer from disjointed referrals and limited communication between different patient care teams, our model focuses on enhancing collaboration among primary care physicians and advanced practitioners, hospital discharge teams, patients and their caregivers, as well as the health plan. Our new technology platform further enables a collaborative approach, by making the latest patient information available to all care team members—something I witnessed in real time during the home care visits. The benefits of this integrated approach include enhanced patient trust, better health outcomes, fewer ED visits and hospitalizations, and reduced costs. Moreover, our approach and enabling technology provide peace of mind to our patients, and their caregivers, that we have their back and will always go the extra mile to meet their needs. For our plan partners, our approach provides the critical assurance that we are always putting their patients first and delivering a superior experience and quality of care.
3

The unique opportunity to identify social determinants of health.

Our model is crucial to enhancing care quality and reducing costs related to each patient’s immediate care need and long-term care needs. One way we impact health and wellbeing is by identifying—and addressing—social determinants. During home visits, our team proactively identifies challenges, such as the lack of transportation to medical appointments, or social isolation and loneliness, and then works to connect patients with appropriate benefits and programs.
4

The absolutely critical need to provide culturally-sensitive care.

Culturally and linguistically appropriate services are critical in all aspects of care, including within the home. To ensure that we’re providing effective and respectful care to our homebound patients, we’ve cultivated a diverse set of providers who speak multiple languages. This helps us build relationships with patients and their caregivers and ensures they understand and adhere to their treatment plans.

The Long Journey Ahead

Shortly after accompanying our team on home visits, I received the results of an independent survey of 47 health plan executives by healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners. As I reviewed the findings, I was struck by the significant gaps in home care that many Americans still experience. In fact, according to the survey findings, most home care patients are not receiving care that incorporates the four above elements.

More than two-thirds of home care is still in a traditional, non-integrated, non-value-based model, according to the survey. Even more alarming, only 38% of survey respondents said their plan supports members’ home care use very well.

That finding is especially concerning given the current rate at which demand and need for home care services is growing. Ninety-one percent of the surveyed health plan leaders said demand for home care services has risen over the past five years, and most expect that trend to continue. This expectation is consistent with projections from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Looking to 2023, our team’s  experiences with patients will continue fueling our commitment to raise the bar for care in the home.  All patients deserve a truly integrated home care experience that delivers the best care possible, makes healthcare easier, and provides them and their family peace of mind.

IHCS

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