Many people still consider home health and home care to be completely different from inpatient home care.
However, this is increasingly not the case. As more care comes to the home, home care organizations are finding ways to get involved—whether through partnerships or their own programs.
In 2023, more than half of home care organizations plan to provide emergency home care for the first time, specifically in a home-based or home-based hospital setting.
This is according to a new survey by Homecare Homebase and Home Health Care News.
The survey included approximately 300 respondents who identify as working for organizations that work in the home care industry, typically in the home health care or home personal care industry. Organizations vary in size, from large to small providers.
In addition to improving visual acuity at home, more organizations are delving into non-clinical home care services, palliative care, and primary home care.
There are several examples of companies that are already fully involved in emergency care. This includes most of the major home health care companies, namely Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED).
In the summer of 2021, Amedisys acquired Contessa Health, a home-based emergency care provider, for $250 million. He was willing to put up with short-term financial problems in order to take advantage of the long-term benefits of having his own emergency medical facilities.
Its CEO, Paul Kusserow, last month explained to HHCN the value of having Contessa under its umbrella.
“What we hoped for at Contessa was to be very distinctive, to do things that other people don’t and can’t do,” Kusserov said. “And to enter markets where there is no one, and create these markets. The key for us right now is to further deepen our existing customer base and sell a couple of new customers a year. Attract more business to break even and then start making it profitable.”
A recent example is Amedisys and Contessa’s partnership with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). This partnership spans the entire continuum, whether it’s home healthcare, hospice, home SNF, home hospital, or personal care.
Kusserow’s thoughts on the home hospital landscape confirm the idea behind more providers getting involved in this model.
“But we also see people who have tried to do it on their own, hospitals that have tried to do it on their own and basically realized that it is too difficult for them to do it on their own and so they come back to us. and wants to create a joint venture with us,” Kusserov said. “I really like what we have at Contessa.”
Elsewhere, there are personal care companies that are already operating on the “hospital at home” model. For example, Honor and Home, instead of the former acquiring the latter in August 2021, are working with DispatchHealth to deliver emergency home care.
BrightStar Care also lends its expertise to make home hospital care easier.
“We bring in Certified Nurse Assistants, RNs or LPNs, depending on what level of government regulation is in place, to chart care coordination,” BrightStar Care CEO Shelly Sun told HHCN last May.
Home SNF care became very popular almost immediately after the introduction of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) as skilled nursing homes battled the effects of COVID-19.
The home hospital, meanwhile, began to gain popularity when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a payment mechanism for this model during PHE. This has been extended by two years after the PHE, which is now set to end in May.
Since then, inpatient home care programs from health systems like Kaiser Permanente have seen great success. But there are other health systems that are wary of implementing their own programs.
Home care providers see this as a chance for them to step in and offer their home care experience to fill the safety and staffing gaps.
“Homecare nurses, in my experience, are very experienced, well trained and really know how to do things when there is no one around to help,” said Sarah Keller, assistant professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University. HHC last month.