One year after accepting our first Medicare home health client, Lifespark Home Health has already served 700+ people in the Twin Cities and grew the census from 0 to 200 – marking us one of the fastest growing home health organizations in the country. And despite that tremendous growth, Lifespark Home Health received a zero deficiency survey from the Minnesota Department of Public Health (MDH) in January.
According to Paulette Duncan, RN, Director of Skilled Services (Home Health) for Lifespark, very few home health agencies can accomplish this amount of growth in one year and maintain the consistency and accountability to receive zero deficiencies. “It’s been quite a year – but it’s our people and our model that has driven our success,” said Paulette.
Every three years, MDH surveys home care providers to evaluate the quality of care and services provided. Typically the surveyors show up to companies unannounced to review clinical documentation, administrative and clinical procedures, employee files, quality data and collection, and contracts. At the conclusion of the survey, Lifespark Home Health was found to be in full compliance with all conditions and regulations (both state and federal) of a quality home health care provider.
Liz Sether, Nurse Consultant/Policy Analyst for LeadingAge Minnesota shared that on average Minnesota home health providers are cited by MDH for 9-12 deficiencies at each survey resulting in requirements reports ranging 12-90 pages long to which agencies must then respond.
So it is quite an accomplishment for Lifespark to be deficiency-free in their first year of operation with such substantial growth. “Our team does their job efficiently all while ‘sparking lives,’” said Paulette. “That’s not an easy task considering we have clients with higher than national average for acuity, meaning they are much sicker and have more complex needs.”
Lisa Weber, Vice President, Home Health Operations, added that Lifespark’s whole person approach to senior care has influenced how Lifespark’s home health service has been able to deliver high quality care. “It’s a gateway to a broader home care experience,” explained Lisa. “In most Medicare home health companies, it’s all about the medical diagnosis and the scope of work is limited to the skilled need. We are able to bridge Lifespark’s whole person philosophy during this phase and look beyond just the medical to help each person uniquely not only get better in the short-term with their Medicare home health, but long-term with a continuation of Lifespark Life Care Management services to keep them thriving wherever they live and avoid gaps in care.”
“Our team has embraced the whole person philosophy and have seen what happens when you deliver the best care and advocacy to help people live the healthiest, most independent lives possible, something we call living a ‘sparked life,’ rather than just treat and discharge them,” added Paulette. “We’ve seen better outcomes and satisfaction from our clients and our team works hard to provide phenomenal attention to detail all around. We are so proud of this team.”