Lifesprk Wins ‘Tim Tucker Spirit of Collaboration’ Award

Lifesprk was honored at Augustana Care’s Annual Leadership Conference as the recipient of the honorable ‘Tim Tucker Spirit of Collaboration Award’ from Augustana Care for their vision and proactive guidance approach to keep people out of the hospital through the Thrive On @ Home program.

Tim Middendorf, Augustana Care’s Chief Operating Officer said “we know we can’t solve the issue of readmission rates alone, that’s why the strategic partnership with Lifesprk has been successful at keeping our clients thriving at home once they are discharged from our communities. It’s the main reason we nominated Lifesprk for the ‘Spirit of Collaboration’ award – no one else has been able to successfully achieve such dramatic results.” Joel Theisen, RN, CEO/Founder of Lifesprk added, “We’re honored to be recognized in this way. We believe in building partners-for-life and it has been a tremendous partnership with Augustana Care right from the start.”

The Thrive On @ Home program partnership between Augustana Care and Lifesprk was designed to address a staggering statistic many people over 65 were facing after being discharged from the hospital where gaps in care were occurring specifically around transitioning home from a rehabilitation or hospital setting. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, one in five people were rehospitalized within 30 days after discharge and one in three after 90 days.  Today the Medicare national average for readmissions within 30 days has dropped to 15.2% but that still represents far too many people experiencing the roller coaster of health care crises.

Lyn Lais, RN, Life Care Navigator and administrator of the Thrive On @ Home program has been in the health care industry for over 25 years and has seen firsthand how these gaps in care occur. “Despite more focus on the transition home, there are still many gaps in most programs. For example, we know that 90% of health outcomes are shaped by factors other than health care yet those are rarely addressed.  Once people are home it can be hard to adjust and they can very easily slip into a spiral of health care crises, ultimately returning to the hospital. At home, there’s no professional there using a whole person approach to help guide them through this next phase and give them the confidence and tools they need to successfully transition home,” said Lais.

The goal of the Thrive On @ Home program is to bridge the care received at Augustana Care’s Chapel View with care at home to achieve the Triple Aim – improve individual experience, improve health of our population, and reduce the cost of health care. Since October 2015, Lais has enrolled 140 people into the Thrive On @ Home program, with 110 identified as being at high or moderate risk for readmission. Based on the Medicare national average for readmissions within 30 days, 17 were likely to be readmitted. However, as Lais explained, through the Thrive On @ Home program and its interventions, “of the 110 at-risk, only 6 were readmitted – a 65% drop in the expected readmissions from the national average.“

Lais added that those who did need to go back to the hospital were able to return without needing to go to the emergency room or have an ambulance transfer, saving them both time and cost.

“It’s an integrated solution that stops the roller coaster of crises,” said Theisen. “Isolation is fatal – we need partners working together as systems of excellence for a continuum approach, not silos, with a whole person focus to really help people be successful once home and eliminate any gaps that often occur.”

With all the changes and fragmentation in healthcare, Augustana Care senior leadership knew a new creative way to serve their customers was needed. “Lifesprk’s affinity-building whole person model fits well with the continuity and support we want to provide our clients to help them enjoy longer, fuller and healthier lifestyles following their discharge. We know we have more work to do – ultimately we want to see zero rehospitalizations within the first 30 days for as many people as possible. We are happy to recognize this partnership because we know collectively we can reach our goal.”

For more information about the Thrive On @ Home program, call 877-345-3319.

Photo (left-to-right): Kris Teigen, RN, Director of Bus. Dev., Lifesprk; Tressa Daily, LSW, Regional Director of Post-Acute Development, Augustana Care; and Lyn Lais, RN, Life Care Navigator, Lifesprk