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The home care sector is in the throes of change, as it evolves from fragmented service delivery to a more integrated and holistic member-first approach. Critical to this evolution is the emergence of strategic partnerships, such as the one between Integrated Home Care Services (IHCS) and Medicare Advantage entities. Such collaborations signal a future where home care is not just a service, but an integrated component of a broader healthcare ecosystem. 

In this blog, we explore a forward-thinking angle put forth in the HLTH webinar, featuring Kat Gesh-Wilson, Vice President-Medicare Advantage, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and Paul Pino, Chief Development and Analytics Officer at IHCS. They joined moderator Dan D’Orazio, CEO of Sage Growth Partners to share why a home care benefits manager can make a significant difference in an individual’s home care experience. The three also discussed why a collaborative approach benefits everyone involved.

A Collaborative Effort: IHCS and Medicare Advantage/BlueCross BlueShield

Medicare Advantage plans have long been at the forefront of innovative healthcare solutions for seniors. With their flexibility in coverage offerings and focus on preventive care, these plans represent an ideal match for home care services grounded in a holistic, member-first philosophy.

By partnering with health plans, companies like IHCS can ensure that their services are not only accessible but also aligned with the broader healthcare goals set forth by these plans. This means more seamless transitions between care settings, better data sharing, and, ultimately, enhanced member outcomes.

Furthermore, such alliances elevate the role of home care from an isolated service to a central player in an individual’s healthcare journey. This shift is crucial in recognizing the importance of home care and ensuring that it receives the attention, funding, and integration it rightly deserves.

Envisioning the Future of Integrated Home Care

At IHCS, Pino is an advocate for the transformative potential of such partnerships. In his view, the future of home care is not one of isolated service delivery but of strategic integration. Working with Gesh-Wilson to date has really proven to be a win-win:

“From our standpoint, one of the things we realized early on is that if you’re not aligned with the payer from an overall patient outcomes perspective and member satisfaction perspective, you’re not going to be achieving the outcomes that are important for everyone,” he notes. “It’s really about matching not only our policies and procedures but matching how it is that we’re reimbursed relative to how you’re reimbursed. Our successes are your successes and your successes are ours.”

Gesh-Wilson echoes this sentiment, highlighting the importance of partnering with a home care benefits manager that is truly aligned with a plan’s goals. “Alignment is critical. We both have the same incentive—and that’s centered around the member,” she shares. “A lot of services, like home health, home infusion, and DME, are often just contracted in your network instead of cultivating a relationship where the same goal is in mind for both the plan and the home care benefits manager.” The future of home care is fully integrated. As demand for care at home continues to rise, it’ll become ever more important to ensure all stakeholders are aligned. Not only will this help ensure patient satisfaction and care plan compliance, but will help boost outcomes, drive reimbursements, and reduce waste.

Towards a Brighter Future in Home Care

In light of these visionary perspectives, it’s clear that the future of home care lies in strategic collaboration, integration, and a relentless focus on an individual’s needs. Pioneering partnerships like the one between IHCS and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina are leading the way, signaling a shift towards a healthcare system that is not just effective, but also compassionate, individualized, and truly member-first.

And, as the industry continues to evolve, it will be collaborations like these that will chart the path forward, shaping a future where home care is recognized, valued, and seamlessly integrated into the broader healthcare tapestry.

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