Best Health System Partners for Delivering Value-Based Care?

The joint venture partnership between Intermountain Healthcare and Lifesprk was according to Home Health Care News, one of the more interesting home care collaborations in 2018.  Why did an $8 billion health system in Utah engage in a joint venture with a Minnesota-based senior care company who wasn’t a franchise or national home care company? It’s a discussion point sure to intrigue thought-leaders from health systems, providers, and agencies during Home Health Care News’ upcoming Capital & Strategy Forum in Washington D.C. on April 10. In an invite-only panel, Joel Theisen, CEO of Lifesprk and Homespire will discuss ‘What’s Next in Joint Ventures: Establishing Partnerships with Referral Sources’ with Kerin Zuger, VP of Bus Dev & Strategic Partnerships of Right at Home and Scott Patillo, Chief Strategy Officer of HomeCare HomeBase sharing their advice on strategies needed to secure prosperous partnerships.

As more partnerships pave the way for value-based arrangements, what is next? What should partners be looking for when it comes to building a senior care strategy? Driving referrals is important but if we continue to operate in a reactive, ‘sick care’ system, those referrals while increasing, won’t support efforts to keep people well or reduce healthcare spend long-term.

“Our whole person model is an executable platform built as a plug-in that can work with any type of business partner,” said Joel. “This is important because it is flexible in how we can serve large senior populations regardless of where they live, how needs change, or which payers are involved. Those with whom providers partner should be a sustainable model of community-based population health, even as the health care reimbursement landscape shifts. Partnerships should be able to create opportunities for people to experience a life-long continuum they’ve never had before.”

The creation of Homespire with Intermountain Healthcare and Life Care by Walker with Walker Methodist Health are two powerful examples of how partnerships can deliver value and proven outcomes, addressing the full scope of life challenges seniors face.  With the Life Care by Walker care transition program, Lifesprk earned the Quality Award from LeadingAge Minnesota because of the results and experience we created to reach quadruple aim – including an average overall reshospitalization rate of 5.1 % compared to the national average of nearly 15.8% and the life-long connectivity to resources to stay healthier longer.

Breaking Down Fragmentation To Demonstrate Value and Outcomes

“I think the overall goal in partnering is creating a system that breaks down fragmentation, barriers, and silos that inhibit person-centric care in whatever way we can – through care transitions, primary care, private-pay, home health, caregiving – to deliver the life experience people want,” said Joel. “We need to connect people to whatever they need at the right time with the ability to navigate them to everything they want to live healthier, more independent lives.”

This theory is in line with a recent report on the ‘State of Population Health’ where researchers in the Numerof Survey said, “Concerns about fragmentation of care and diminished quality have increased significantly. What has been missing from the discussion, and what lies at the heart of why healthcare hasn’t changed, is the fact that costs have not been linked to outcomes.”

“The population health/value-based focus is an opportunity for all post-acute providers to increase net income and make a difference,” said Joel. “But it has to be backed by outcomes. That should be a real differentiator for providers looking to partner; outcomes though have to be more than just rehospitalization rates. This is about creating the network of networks to support a person’s pathway towards proactive wellness, not reactive, fragmented care. As providers, we want to get paid for the wellbeing and value we create.”

Home care and home health have been the trending lately as partnership choices but do they go far enough, deep enough, into the community to address social determinants of health? And are they able to produce the outcomes needed to demonstrate value as the ‘State of Population Health’ study points to? The panel discussion at Home Health Care News’ Capitol & Strategy Forum is timely as the partnership trend heats up, examining how distinct operating models can integrate to benefit both the business and the client.

We want to know, who should health systems partner with to deliver value-based care? What in your opinion seems to be working to deliver a better life experience? Share on and join the conversation!