High quality of care, positive patient outcomes and managing total cost of care remains the shared goal for healthcare providers in general, but these points are especially important when demonstrating the value proposition for care delivered in the home, a part of the healthcare delivery system that has been highly fragmented and ineffectively utilized. As Amedisys CEO Paul Kusserow stated in a recent Modern Healthcare article, we need to come up with fresh ideas and new innovations, and work together to achieve better patient outcomes and higher savings, together.
Quality is expected of any healthcare provider in order to participate in the healthcare system arena—it should be the price of entry. Not all home healthcare providers, however, provide the same quality of care. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a five‐star quality rating system to measure home health agencies, to drive quality improvement and recognize providers’ performance. Currently, 82 percent of all Amedisys Home Health care centers have reached 4 stars or better, and 15 agencies have achieved the maximum 5 star rating. Our current Quality of Patient Care score is at 4.13 stars – well above the industry average. If quality is the price of entry, Amedisys is “in.”
Outcomes should also lead in any comparative discussion. If providers of healthcare services are not driving for industry leading outcomes, they will struggle to find long-term success. Consider a 2016 study by UCLA researchers published in the peer-reviewed journal Medical Care. The study found that patients who were referred to home healthcare following hospital discharge experienced better outcomes and incurred lower costs. The clinical teams at Amedisys use an interdisciplinary approach that combines the physician-approved plan of care, clinical and patient life goals, and clinical protocols that have been informed by evidence-based medicine to drive optimal patient outcomes. In this way, we are actively coordinating with physicians to create the best plan of care for patients that will also lower their total cost of care.
Value will continue to be the differentiator in a healthcare system that faces an increasing aging population, scarce resources, and healthcare costs that continue to outpace GDP. Demonstrating an improved value proposition isn’t easy, particularly in an industry that is highly fragmented, where practice patterns have been historically challenged and at a time when CMS is proposing new rules that increase administrative and financial pressures. Amedisys believes, however, that driving best-in-class quality, outcomes and value in the healthcare delivery system is a shared responsibility, with all parties held strictly accountable, and that includes home health agencies.
We know that patients prefer the personal comfort and security of their home versus an acute-care or skilled nursing facility, and we speculate that admissions to the home (vs. a facility) are underutilized by as much as 25 percent. So, how do we better leverage the home as an efficient and effective place of service in the health care delivery system?
DOING WHAT WE DO…BUT BETTER
Pursuing quality, patient outcomes and value is nothing new for Amedisys, but it’s our responsibility to do it better. To that end, Amedisys is initiating new pilots and seeking to find innovative ways to demonstrate a stronger value proposition in the home with the ultimate goal of aligning the objectives of the patient, the provider and the payor.
Wait until you see what we’re doing! To be continued—check back soon for updates.
Christy Vitulli is the SVP of Payor Relations & Network Innovation for Amedisys. For inquiries about your partnership with Amedisys, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.