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What Role Can Personal Care Play in A Person-Centric Population Health Model?

  • Jan 17, 2019
  • Meaghan Puglisi
  • 4-min Read

As we shift from ‘sick care-acute care silos’ to a true ‘health care’ system, how are home care companies evolving in a value-based world and creating the change needed to meet the person-centered demands of seniors to achieve triple aim objectives?

It’s one of the many questions Home Care 100 will dive deep into at the upcoming leadership conference exclusive to leading home care and hospice providers. Joel Theisen, RN, CEO of Lifespark and  Homespire (an Intermountain Health Care company) was invited to join the discussion during one of Home Care 100’s panels addressing ‘personal care as the lynchpin to population health.’ It’s an interesting question. We know personal care happens in every setting but is it really the lynchpin or is it something else? Our perspective is it’s more than that. “We have to go beyond the home care realm, beyond the non-medical personal cares, and focus on patient engagement and social determinants of health,” said Joel. “People don’t want care, they want independence. Our health care system is ‘sick,’ and we have to start looking further than ‘cares’ and focus on wellbeing in order to improve outcomes.”

As the home care industry expands its presence into value-based payment realm, what are the growth opportunities and challenges they face and what capabilities are needed to build a new model of care for the future? As Home Health Care News recently reported in their top trends for 2019, 2018 was the coming of age for the home care industry and as the industry is ripe for change, the conversations around how to demonstrate value in a risk-based world are more than timely.

That’s why Joel was eager to be on Home Care 100s panel, the conversation has to change. Joining Darby Anderson, EVP & COO of Addus Home Care, Pat Drea, COO of Visiting Angels, and Brian Petranick, President & CEO of Right At Home, this team of health care leaders will show how non-skilled, in-home services are emerging as a vital component to managing patient (or as we like to say ‘client’) populations.

They’ll also analyze the recent CMS decision to fold non-medical personal care into the Medicare Advantage benefit and discuss four strategies for making personal care providers attractive to population health management partners, including: identifying health risks; managing medical records; training caregivers; and building a culture of accountable care.

These thought-leaders are also sharing what’s worked well for their own organizations as they grow amid a changing healthcare landscape to create solutions that minimize risk and improve client experience.

“Tracking client outcome data for every client we serve has been a powerful tool giving us a full snapshot of one person’s experience so we can see health improvements and cost-savings over time,” said Joel. “It’s also the key to growth and differentiation in the future.  With ‘risk-based’ payment gaining momentum it is critical to demonstrate value.” Another critical piece to any population health strategy is patient engagement and a whole person model addresses this. “The driving force behind the success of our model is the people we serve,” said Joel. “They’ve invested in their own wellbeing because our model has given them the confidence and ability to not only heal from an injury, surgery, or illness but thrive and live on their terms,” added Joel.

There is widespread recognition of the need for change but most change efforts fall woefully short of truly disrupting the current status quo. “To create change, we have to go beyond traditional home care efforts to deliver a whole person model that addresses all aspects of wellbeing to holistically deliver on seniors’ life goals if we are going to make a difference,” said Joel. “We have to break down the silos that exist to create a seamless life experience for every person we serve.” In ‘A Case for Change, A Call to Action,’ we share how the American health system remains trapped in the same old processes and practices that result in nearly 1 in 5 Medicare recipients being re-hospitalized in 30 days, and nearly a quarter of all Medicare dollars being spent in the last year of life.

“As we look to the future of healthcare, we know isolation is fatal – partners, providers, anyone looking to create the change that is needed, can’t develop a true population health strategy alone,” said Joel. “It’s about collaboration, building partnership and incorporating the full life experience into the model.”

We want to know your perspective; can personal care play a role in population health? Is it really the lynchpin? Join the conversation…



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