Healthcare at Home Blog Series: Companies Expanding Healthcare at Home
The virtualization of health care for home delivery on any device has attracted a new set of competitors
THE VBP Blog
Healthcare at Home services provide a variety of benefits to consumers and payers. Throughout our Healthcare at Home blog series thus far, we have taken an in-depth look at the growing trend. From the policy landscape that is shifting towards value-based payments that support healthcare at home services to the innovative technology making the transition possible, it is clear that there is support from both the public and private sectors.
In our last blog under the Healthcare at Home series, we looked at different Hospital at Home programs. Supported by value-based payment models, these programs are ramping up across the country as the transition to healthcare at home accelerates. However, this acceleration isn’t just for hospital-at-home programs, rather for the industry as a whole.
With the transition to delivering healthcare services at home growing, competition is heating up amongst healthcare delivery service providers. And why is that? Just last year, McKinsey & Company estimated that up to $250 billion of US healthcare spending could potentially be shifted to virtual or virtually enabled care. Big investments are being made in the space as organizations look to stake their claim on part of the market share.
Throughout this blog, we will take a look at some of the players already in the healthcare at home sphere, and those that are vying to make or expand their mark on the industry.
Dispatch Health Raising Funds
One of the companies making a splash in healthcare at-home delivery is DispatchHealth. The company offers in-home medical care and announced in March that they secured an additional $200 million in Series D financing to build the largest system of in-home medical care.
DispatchHealth sees the value in the market and is going all-in to develop a platform that integrates its suite of in-home care services. These services include:
- On-demand, high-acuity care that substitutes an avoidable emergency room visit
- 30-day episodes that substitute for a hospital stay
- A marketplace to coordinate ancillary services
Their model is unique in that it aligns the payer, provider, organization, and consumer on one comprehensive platform. Early signs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic showed their services to be a success, leading to this massive investment and expansion initiative that we hope continues to derive positive results.
Humana Acquisition to Accelerate Value-Based Home Health Services
Humana is also making moves in the home healthcare industry. This summer they inked a deal to purchase the remaining 60% interest in Kindred at Home, which is a large home health and hospice provider. The intention behind the deal is to integrate Kindred at Home into Humana’s Home Solutions business and health care services brand, CenterWell.
Humana has been successful in the past delivering desired consumer experience and patient outcomes through partnership models and recently participated in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hospice Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model. This aligns with their acquisition of Kindred at Home as they look to expand quality personal care and hospice services to consumers.
Additionally, Humana announced its intention to acquire One Homecare Solutions. One Homecare Solutions provides home-based services and recently pioneered a value-based payment model in Florida and Texas. They offer services including post-acute care, infusion care, nursing, occupational therapy, and more from the comfort of a consumer’s home. Through this acquisition, Humana looks to expand its service offerings and capabilities in the healthcare at home sphere even further.
LHC Group and SCP Health Partner
This summer, LHC Group, a national provider of in-home care services formed a strategic partnership with SCP Health, a clinical leader in acute unscheduled care. The organizations will work together to provide a comprehensive platform to deliver advanced clinical care services in the home.
The partnership leans on the expertise of both LHC Group and SCP Health. LHC Group provides industry-leading in-home care, data analytics, clinical modeling, and technologies. SCP Health brings top-quality clinicians and telehealth capabilities to the table. By harnessing combined talents, the clinician-led model will elevate in-home care for consumers at a time when they want and need it most.
Services offered will include all aspects of home health care, such as skilled nursing facility at home and hospital at home. They will be offered to both existing and new hospital and health system partners. This is crucial as many providers and patients are looking for value-based care models and at-home healthcare solutions.
Ro Acquires At-home Diagnostics Company, Kit
Another healthcare technology company expanding further into the home care space is Ro. They recently acquired Kit, an at-home diagnostics company. Kit offers customizable, physician-ordered, self-administered diagnostic tests. This includes blood pressure tests, finger-prick blood assays, weight measurements, and more.
Ro will integrate Kit’s diagnostic testing infrastructure with its existing in-home capabilities. This will allow for the creation of a comprehensive in-home care and diagnostics API that can collect data in convenient and clinically approved ways.
It is a positive sign to see at-home diagnostics expanding as many tests typically require a visit to a doctor’s office. By making these tests more convenient, it expands access and utilization. This allows consumers to manage their health more effectively, detect issues earlier, and improve health outcomes.
Mayo Clinic Program Expansion
This year, the Mayo Clinic, jointly with Kaiser Permanente, announced a collaborative partnership with Medically Home Group, an at-home acute care company. Both organizations previously used their scalable scare delivery model on consumers and are encouraged by its success and growth.
Mayo Clinic’s $100 million investment will be used to scale up existing deployments of Medically Home’s services in the market. The funds will also be used to develop best practices for the hospital-at-home care delivery model with the goal of encouraging other health systems and provider organizations to adopt it.
The benefit of Medically Home’s technology is that it enables organizations to address clinical conditions at the higher end of the clinical acuity spectrum at home that are typically treated in a regular hospital setting. This includes routine infections, chronic diseases, emergency medicine, cancer care, and even transfusions.
The turnkey care delivery model is purposely built and integrates seamlessly with the consumer’s electronic health records. Consumers hospitalized using this system have lower 30-day and 90-day readmissions rates, which is encouraging and worth investing in.
Important Emphasis Needed on Consumer Insight
While we have seen an influx of investments into the healthcare at home arena, it is important not to lose sight of the human side of the business. Companies are entering and expanding in the market to provide services, but many of these organizations are driven by the bottom line. When we are talking about healthcare and the delivery of these services, we need whole-person-centered care taken into account, with an emphasis on improving care and providing accessible services to all.
That is why these organizations need to establish advisory boards that expand access and advocate for the consumer. Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente recently recruited 11 health system partners to form a hospital-at-home advocacy coalition with the goal of creating a pathway to accessible hospital-level services at home for all. The coalition will work with Congress and focus on advocacy by leveraging collective expertise and data, and by sharing best practices and information about barriers to access. Through this initiative, they seek to expand access to care and provide better services.
Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente are not the first to create a coalition of this kind. Earlier this year, Amazon Care, Intermountain Healthcare, and Ascension founded the Moving Health Home (MHH) coalition. This advocacy group is made up of stakeholders working to change state and federal policy to enable the home to be a point of care delivery so better services can be accessible to the masses.
While health systems and organizations getting involved in advocacy for the delivery of health care services at home is good, it is important that the consumer also has a voice. They are ultimately the ones receiving services and should therefore have a say in what those services are, how they are delivered, and how offerings can be improved.
It is promising to see the continued investment in and expansion of healthcare at-home services by these organizations. However, we must carefully examine the services being offered and the results rendered to ensure that quality services are still being delivered. Healthcare at home models are only beneficial if quality services continue to be delivered and patient outcomes are at least as good, if not better than outcomes achieved through traditional healthcare services. It is also important to emphasize that while the new acquisitions and expansions support consumers living in the community, these consumers need to have a voice in the leadership and service design. Advisory boards and advocacy groups are important, but community engagement and consumer insights are essential to successful implementation as standards and services are being developed.
In the next blog, we will take a deeper look into how healthcare and hospital at home programs are helping combat social determinants of health.
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About the Author
Fady Sahhar brings over 30 years of senior management experience working with major multinational companies including Sara Lee, Mobil Oil, Tenneco Packaging, Pactiv, Progressive Insurance, Transitions Optical, PPG Industries and Essilor (France).
His corporate responsibilities included new product development, strategic planning, marketing management, and global sales. He has developed a number of global communications networks, launched products in over 45 countries, and managed a number of branded patented products.
About the Co-Author
Mandy Sahhar provides experience in digital marketing, event management, and business development. Her background has allowed her to get in on the ground floor of marketing efforts including website design, content marketing, and trade show planning. Through her modern approach, she focuses on bringing businesses into the new digital age of marketing through unique approaches and focused content creation. With a passion for communications, she can bring a fresh perspective to an ever-changing industry. Mandy has an MBA with a marketing concentration from Canisius College.