Program Provides Options for Customers during Pandemic; Keeping People Home
Lifespark, leader in whole person senior services, and North Memorial Health, a Twin Cities area healthcare system, have rapidly designed and implemented a unique option for customers to receive hospital-level care at home. The new Hospital@Home program was created in response to the COVID-19 crisis to help shorten hospital stays, ensure the availability of beds and supplies for acutely ill patients, and provide customers more choice about where they want to receive care. North Memorial Health and Lifespark began enrolling customers in the program mid-May.
“Because Lifespark and North Memorial Health partnered to develop a senior strategy that addresses seniors’ ability to achieve their best health, we are uniquely positioned to meet the current needs of our senior population, the very same who are most vulnerable to this pandemic,” said Joel Theisen, BSN, CEO, Lifespark. “We are able to advocate together for seniors within a system that puts elders at the center, supporting them through hospital, home, and community.
Hospital@Home provides people with comprehensive medical care delivered in their home including 24/7 support from a dedicated nursing and physician-led team and Lifespark’s telepak in-home monitoring kit which includes pulse oximetry, blood pressure, scale, and video-call capabilities. Within Hospital@Home, the team has the ability to escalate to a higher level of care back to the hospital, access to a full continuum of services, social support and wellness resources, infection control education, select lab testing, and coordination with providers once discharged. This program is open to customers aged 17 and older who have COVID-19 but also for those aged 65 and older who require non-COVID support.
“Even in a pandemic, people need hospital level care. But for those with less acute or post-acute needs, we now have the ability to support them at home through this program,” said Dr. Carolyn Ogland, Chief Medical Officer, North Memorial Health. “North Memorial Health has risen to the occasion to meet the current needs of our customers in a time when they need us most. Bridging care from hospital to home makes us more efficient and more focused in the hospital and more importantly, creates a better customer experience overall.
Payor reimbursement models for other earlier hospital at home programs have limited their growth and success. “With COVID-19 necessitating consideration of how we can more efficiently and effectively care for people, we see payment mechanisms advancing to support more innovative modes of care delivery,” explained Dr. Jeff Vespa, North Memorial Health Medical Director for Clinical Quality and Emergency Room Physician. “We are able to fund this work through both traditional fee-for-service and newer value-based contracting options allowing us to serve a broad customer need.”
Dr. Ogland added that “one of the most important influencing factors behind this program is putting choice back in the hands of our customers. We know on a very human level that people recover better when they are surrounded and supported by those they love. COVID-19 has taken that opportunity away from many families in a hospital setting during the pandemic and we are able, with this program, to connect that human experience with medical expertise and that’s driving promising outcomes.”
“Although it’s been only a month, the response to the Hospital@Home program has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Theisen. “We’re seeing convalescence that has historically been provided in the hospital happening at home with the same quality of care. In addition to their physical care, customers are benefitting from less isolation and greater social supports which contributes immensely to their recovery and demonstrates the value of community-based healthcare solutions.”
North Memorial Health and Lifespark plan to continue offering the Hospital@Home program as part of a broader strategy focused on community-based healthcare. Visit https://hospitalathome.lifesprk.com/ for more information.
About North Memorial Health
At North Memorial Health, we are on a mission to change healthcare. We’re delivering unmatched customer service and empowering our customers throughout the Twin Cities to achieve their best health. North Memorial Health provides access to high-quality, low-cost care throughout the Twin Cities through its medical transportation services and two hospitals – North Memorial Health Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital. North Memorial Health Clinics which include primary care, specialty care and hospice are part of a joint venture with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota that is transforming the healthcare experience for consumers. Across the North Memorial Health system, 900+ doctors and 5,000+ team members are dedicated to delivering a more connected experience for our customers.
Based in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Lifespark’s Life Experience Alternative Delivery System (LEADS) is a proprietary, technology-enabled delivery system focused on the whole person that improves client experience and quality outcomes, lowering the total cost of care and building life-long affinity. Trusting relationships are established through whole-person primary care, life management, engagement, and navigation services working within a high-performance community network. Its technology stack combines EMR, SDOH, first- and third-party data to enable predictive analytics for scalable individualized solutions for all stakeholders. The first complete payor-agnostic community-based delivery system, LEADS can be applied to a full continuum of care settings and reimbursement models, putting Lifespark at the forefront of value-based care initiatives. With an award-winning culture committed to sparking lives, Lifespark has a proven track record of consistent growth with solid financials and outcomes as well as experience scaling and integrating with a wide range of partners. Visit www.lifesprk.com.