What innovations are needed for in-home care?

 In Healthcare Management, Patient Care, Technology

You’re likely familiar with Plato’s famous quote, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” COVID-19 has created new necessities in healthcare delivery – and has jump-started some waves of innovation for providers. These innovations must continue if we aim to achieve true value-based care.

A recent conversation with Devin Griffith, MPA, MSW – vice president of development and innovation for AuthoraCare Collective – yielded interesting perspectives on different facets of healthcare, especially home-based care, that are evolving quickly and still can use more improvement.

Devin knows his stuff. At AuthoraCare Collective, he leads strategic development and partnerships, service diversification, payer strategy, medical and community outreach, innovation and value-based care initiatives. And that’s in addition to a prior 28 years of similar roles in hospital administration and home health agencies across multiple states.

Here are a few highlights of the discussion:

  1. Acceleration of home-based care

“We’ve known for a good while that home is really the preferred setting of care for patients, for families,” Devin said. “You have to have a certain support structure that is in place, but we’ve definitely seen families or caregivers that have said, ‘We’re going to do everything that we can’ to keep their loved ones at home and really thinking about the home environment as a safer environment, where they can control who comes into the home.”

Backing Devin’s point, a recent Transcend Strategy Group national survey reported that 60% of family caregivers say they are more confident quality care can now be provided in the home.

  1. Community partnerships

To support families’ preference for keeping their loved ones at home, partnerships among a range of providers in the continuum and other community organizations are intensifying.

“COVID has created a sense of urgency around those partnerships that are really critical,” Devin said. “You have senior care organizations that have based some of their model on adult day care, adult day health, congregate meal sites, things like that, and they’re not able to really provide that type of service (right now). So, a lot more partnerships – and tighter coordination – are happening among hospice and palliative care organizations, home health agencies and those that provide other types of senior care. They’re working to do things like provide home-delivered meals, making sure that the senior care case manager is coordinating services with the home health social worker and the home health case manager.”

  1. Telehealth and home technology

Devin also noted the growing roles and innovations in telehealth or other remote care tools for providing quality care in the home.

“With the use of technology in the home, there’s the integration and communication and connectivity with other providers who are involved in the care of that patient,” he said. “So, if you are having an exacerbation of an illness or you’re seeing some signs and symptoms, you are able to identify them earlier, really intervene in a way where the patient does not need to leave the home. And you’re literally being able to access that other provider or that primary care physician or that specialist, and really intervene much more in real time. I think the other part of this is really thinking about the whole home technology space from the monitoring aspects, from vitals to weight, to catching things early on.”

The study from Transcend mentioned earlier in this article also showed that 62% of family caregivers agree telehealth provides an attractive option and say they’re more likely to use telehealth in the future. As more remote monitoring takes place and data sets are increased, predictive analytics to spur proactive interventions also will become more robust and accurate.

  1. Payer relationships

Behind any changes in healthcare is the vast influence of payer models. Devin is seeing the need for ongoing innovation there, as well.

“For too many years, the only time we would come to the table is when we would talk about rates and negotiating rates – and I think those are the old days,” he said. “They really no longer apply as we’re all working together to really improve the health of populations. I think from the payer standpoint, it’s also evolving in that Medicare Advantage space where we are really seeing much more robust adoption of supplemental services and maybe not even calling them supplemental services as Medicare does, but really calling them more essential services. I think that’s critical. For Medicare, I think that some level of implementation of home care services, certified nursing assistants, personal care services, are absolutely essential. We have too many people in the gaps of coverage where they don’t qualify for Medicaid, but it’s simply too difficult for them to have a lot of payment out of pocket for those essential services that are absolutely vital to being able to keep them in the home and community setting.”

For the full conversation with Devin Griffith, listen to our podcast. And if you want to discuss how to bring more innovative thinking to your culture, operations and communications, feel free to contact me at stan@transcend-strategy.com.

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