New Directions in Care Management
This was a big year for growth at Lifespark with the announcement of a partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system in Utah. And many behind the scenes efforts of aligning with the right people, the right services, at the right time to deliver a seamless experience for seniors with proven outcomes.
“We are constantly evolving in our thinking and strategy,” said Joel Theisen, RN, CEO of Lifespark. “We have to if we want to break the barriers and remove ‘silos of excellence’ and deliver on results, better experiences, and unnecessary spend on healthcare. It’s one of the reasons we continue to grow at Lifespark, people are demanding care that is whole person because not only does it reduce the cost of care long-term, it makes people feel healthier and more independent when we get them off the roller coaster of crisis.”
What we know is that using only a medical approach to health care misses the mark – people need a broader approach to live fuller, richer lives, and keep costs low long-term. The goal when it comes to home care or aging in place should be about proactive support that reduces the need for care by focusing on life goals. But it also needs to address the whole person, and so many traditional home care companies don’t methodically address all the elements of wellbeing that have a real impact.
“We also can’t overlook the fact that growth directly correlates with the people you hire – our employees,” added Joel. “Without them, we can’t deliver the results we’ve seen.” When asked about how Lifespark hires, Joel added, “I’m less interested in ‘hiring’ people and more interested in coaching the right people who are aligned with our mission to join our team. We put a lot of effort into conscientiously building a powerful culture because an environment of sparked employees creates sustainability as we continue to grow – culture is our brand.”
Joel also believes that growth comes from a very simple question: ‘why?’ “I love Simon Sinek’s TED talk on discovering your ‘why’ and we use this exercise often at Lifespark,” said Joel. “Understanding someone’s ‘why’ – why they joined our company, why they like this field of work, why they get up in the morning, etc., helps us connect and learn more about the person we hired or the client we are serving so we know what motivates them. This is really what a whole person model is all about from both the employee and seniors’ perspective.”
While there have been several recent failed disrupters in the aging market, especially within home care, there remains a strong need for in-home care services that don’t just offer caregivers or nursing oversight. “They need to incorporate real long-term strategies to prevent seniors from frequent hospitalizations and ER visits and support them in their quest to not just manage chronic illness or recuperate from surgery but live healthier and more independent longer,” added Joel.
Is it scary finding a competitive edge to demand the attention of the aging population in healthcare’s fragmented, complex system? “I am not scared about anything, as we believe that we are always in a position to create our own future. We are shifting the paradigm of healthcare and it’s exciting and inspiring. Our team is extremely talented and they are wholly invested in our mission and vision. We’ve experienced tremendous growth and our team continues to roll with the growth because they are determined to change the aging experience. And after many years, health care is ready for accountable value-based care and we are ready to deliver.”