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2/4/22

Home Care Helps Value-Based Primary Care Physicians Improve Outcomes 

A Humana provider and member talk during a home health visit 

 

The increasing emergence of in-home services satisfies two critical needs within value-based care: providing care for patients where they want and need it most and supporting physicians’ care plans when patients cannot visit their office.  Understanding the importance of in-home services to delivering excellent clinical care and superior outcomes for patients led to Humana’s decision to acquire Kindred at Home. Kindred at Home caregivers provide home health, hospice and personal care services to over 550,000 patients annually.   

 

Much of the past focus in creating at-home care opportunities has centered on primary care, but this has evolved recently to include advanced urgent care. The aim of the approach is to drive improved access, experience, outcomes and quality of life.  Humana research has determined that 20 percent of its Medicare Advantage expenditures can be addressed via home-care services, and an even higher percentage in some areas such as prevention, care coordination, care management and assessments. New partnerships with organizations focused on primary and urgent care home-based clinical visits provide complementary access points for care to members. These options are particularly suited for members where traditional primary care clinics are out- of- reach because of an inability to find a local physician practice or home-bound status. Heal, one option, provides primary care services by way of house calls, telehealth and remote monitoring to patients in eight states. The company also works with health plans to assist in closing gaps in care. DispatchHealth offers advanced urgent care in 38 cities. The organization focuses on treating medical conditions—COPD, heart failure, cellulitis and others—that require urgent intervention, but not necessarily hospitalization.   

 

 

Dispatching clinicians directly to a patient’s home overcomes many of the barriers that tend to prevent some from seeing their physicians, such as a lack of transportation and now, amid the pandemic, a desire to limit potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. It also adds to the patient experience. “Home-based care can be a partner and support system to help PCPs and other physicians take the best care of their patients,” said Andrew Lynch, vice president of Home Solutions for Humana. “Whether it’s Medicare home care, advanced urgent care, hospital at home, etc., we believe all of these can help value-based physicians better manage their patients and improve outcomes.”  

  

Dr. Barron Taylor, a practitioner with Heal, says the ability to be present in a patient’s home gives valuable insight to an individual’s well-being he otherwise might never receive in a traditional physician’s office. He can use that information to pinpoint physical and mental health issues and develop care strategies. “How can you truly make an evaluation if you’re not in the patient’s house?” Taylor asked. “That interaction and connection solidifes the patient-provider bond. That’s where the difference is being made.”  

 

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