Home Health Business Briefs: Joint Venture Formed, Agency Names New President

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, home health care is teeming with activity — from acquisitions and partnerships to new leadership appointments and promotions. Here’s the latest news buzzing around the industry:

Private Equity Firm Acquires Home Care Provider

J.H. Whitney Capital Partners, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm, announced recently that it has acquired Pediatric Services Holding Corporation, the parent company of Pediatric Services of America, Inc., known as PSA Healthcare. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

PSA is a provider of home care services for medically fragile children. PSA provides care to more than 2,500 patients across 17 states through more than 65 offices.

In addition to its core home-based pediatric private duty nursing platform, PSA provides a broad range of health care services, including home-based adult private duty nursing, home-based pediatric skilled nursing visits and therapies, outsourced school health programs, pediatric day treatment centers for medically fragile children and intellectual and developmental home care.

“We are very excited to partner with PSA,” said Steve Rodgers, managing director at J.H. Whitney. “PSA’s committed corporate culture and track record of successfully providing quality, cost-effective home care services have positioned them as a leader in its industry.”

BMO Capital Markets Corp. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to PSA in connection with this transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Nixon Peabody LLP acted as legal advisors to J.H. Whitney in connection with this transaction. BMO Capital Markets Corp. acted as lead arranger in connection with the debt financing for the transaction.

Trinity Health Selects athenahealth to Advance Clinical Integration

Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems, and athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHN), a provider of cloud-based services and mobile applications for medical groups and health systems, recently announced they will work together to advance clinical integration and people-centered care in the health system’s multi-state ambulatory network.

This network serves people and communities in 21 states with 85 hospitals, 128 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide nearly 2.8 million visits annually.

Trinity Health will begin implementing athenaOne — the collection of athenahealth’s cloud-based electronic health record (EHR), practice management and patient engagement services — in some of its physician network offices as early as July 2015.

These sites will also leverage athenaCoordinator, a care coordination service, to bring together care teams, whether they are employed by or affiliated with the system. The efforts will allow Trinity Health to gain new perspectives on clinical and operational performance.

“Trinity Health is committed to redesigning health care delivery from an illness- and hospital-centered approach to a people-centered approach,” said Barbara A. Walters, executive vice president and chief population health officer of Trinity Health. “That means delivering better health, better care and lower cost in the communities we serve.”

Walters added that integrating Trinity Health providers on a single-instance, cloud-based platform will provide them with network insight to monitor their performance in pursuit of cost-effective, high-quality care marked by efficiency and clinical integrity, and will support them in providing comprehensive individual care for their patients.

Trinity Health is a member of the Health Care Transformation Task Force and has committed that 75% of its business will be engaged in value-based agreements by 2020.

Many of the system’s partnerships, including its Trinity Health Partners venture with the Heritage Provider Network, will engage in full-risk capitated contracts and focus on population health management and other related efforts. Additionally, Trinity Health has 27 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in 21 markets and 47 of its facilities have bundled payment care improvement programs.

Home Health Agency Adopts Tech to Mobilize Workforce

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY), a global provider of mobile communications, announced recently that CarePartners has chosen CellTrak’s VisitManager solution, running on BlackBerry 10 smartphones and managed by BES12: a multi-OS EMM solution by BlackBerry, to mobilize their home care providers.

CarePartners is a home care nursing agency that provides personal support services, rehabilitation services and nursing care to more than 70,000 patients each year.

CarePartners issued BlackBerry 10 smartphones provisioned with CellTrak’s VisitManager mobile health care management application to more than 4,000 employees in their mobile workforce.

VisitManager, the company says, enables CarePartners’ home care providers to securely access patient information directly on their smartphones. It allows them to update client records in real time, and helps them manage their appointments and schedule changes throughout the day. The solution allows for secure real-time communications between care providers and back-office employees.

“With thousands of home care staff visiting clients each and every day, CarePartners recognized very quickly that they required a solution that gives their care providers convenient and secure access to the information they need and delivers a more integrated approach to logging and managing their hours of service,” said Barry Billings, vice president of CellTrak Canada. “Partnering with BlackBerry enables us to offer CarePartners a real-time connection to their patient data that is secure from end to end, in transit and at rest and a way to increase the productivity of their workforce.”

CarePartners is also migrating to BES12 for enterprise mobility management (EMM) to securely manage their deployment of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. BES12 can manage any mobile deployment model and supports iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS devices.

Associated Home Care Appoints New President 

Associated Home Care (AHC), a home health care agency with eight offices throughout Massachusetts, recently announced the appointment of Nancy Aldrich as president, according to local reports.

In this new role, Aldrich will provide leadership across all departments and locations of AHC while managing overall operations. With more than 20 years of experience at the agency, Aldrich has proven to be extraordinarily skilled in client and employee relations, team management and corporate strategy and development, the report states.

“Nancy has been an instrumental driver of growth for the company. I have every confidence that she will provide thoughtful leadership and continue to enhance our client relationships and company reputation for providing excellent home health care,” said Michael Trigilio, CEO and owner of Associated Home Care. “This promotion will enable me to focus on strategic growth and future expansion so that we can continue to improve our expansive care for elders in Massachusetts.”

The reorganization of the management team will allow AHC to better serve clients and employees at offices and site locations statewide, according to the report. Aldrich most recently served as vice president and director of Home Care Services at AHC.

Homestead Home Health Care and Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Announce Joint Venture

Carl Simcox, owner of Homestead Home Health Care, Inc., and Roger Myers, president and CEO of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM), have announced the formation of a new joint venture.

This new entity has been structured as a Michigan limited liability company (LLC) on a 50/50 percentage ownership basis. A formal name is in the process of being selected.

The purposes of the joint venture are identifying, assessing and implementing selective business opportunities to leverage the individual and shared capabilities of Homestead and PVM to enhance services and programs for seniors, their families, caregivers, payors, health care systems and broader communities across Michigan.

Services that may be provided include private duty home health and personal care services, including medication assistance; enhanced living (care and services in a congregate setting); coordination of ancillary services, including skilled care, end-of-life care, physician services, pharmacy services and care transition programs; telehealth and other home based technologies; and more.

Homestead will serve as the general manager of the LLC and a PVM representative will serve as the chair of the LLC’s governing board.

PVM, headquartered in Southfield, Mich., is a faith-based, nonprofit, multi-site system that serves more than 4,300 seniors and currently has 25 senior living communities including continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), subsidized senior housing and market-rate senior housing.

Homestead, headquartered in Northville, Mich., is a for-profit organization. Homestead and its affiliates serve more than 2,000 clients throughout Michigan, providing home care, facility management of independent and assisted living communities, care coordination and client advocacy.

Pathway Health Appoints New Director to Lead Home Care, Hospice Services Practice

Pathway Health, a post-acute consulting service, interim management and education company, has announced that Lisa Abicht-Swensen has been appointed director of home care and hospice services.

In this capacity, Abicht-Swensen will lead Pathway Health’s national consulting services practice and capabilities for home care and hospice. She will collaborate with the existing leadership team and report to Chris Fangboner, vice president of operations of Pathway Health.

Abicht-Swensen joins Pathway with an extensive background in the startup development and on-going operations of home care, palliative care and hospice organizations.

In the early 1990s, she opened one of the first community-based hospice programs in Minnesota and, during her tenure, led the program to become one of the largest hospices in the state, with a reputation for responsiveness, innovation and excellence in end-of-life care.

Abicht-Swensen is an accomplished speaker and writer, and has been published in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care.

Abicht-Swensen earned a Master of Hospital and Health Care Administration degree, Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Long-Term Health Care and Business Administration, and is a licensed nursing home administrator.

She is a past president of the Hospice Minnesota Board of Directors and has served on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Quality Advisory Committee.

For many years, Abicht-Swensen represented Home and Community-Based Services on the Board of Directors of Care Providers of Minnesota.

She currently serves as the vice chairperson of the Care Providers of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees. 

Mountain Home Care Adds Nursing Services to In-Home Care

The recent addition of licensed nursing services by Mountain Home Care addresses the existing and widening gap between patient needs and the amount of skilled care insurance providers cover, the Arden, North Carolina-based provider says. 

Adding a professional nurse to a family’s caregiving efforts can make all the difference in managing the demands of in-home care, according to Lana Wilde, owner of Mountain Home Care. Doing so adds depth to the licensed service provider’s ability to provide quality professional services at home.

“We know this is a way to help some individuals stay in their homes and live independently for a longer period of time,” she says. “We support that effort.” 

Since opening its doors more than 12 years ago, Mountain Home Care has always maintained registered nurses to perform assessments and to be on-call at all times.

Today, in-home nursing services are a welcome addition to its client caregiving options, and are provided under a doctor’s written order. The referring physician also supervises the nurses and gives directions for their patients, Wilde says. 

“This allows us to help the client who is no longer eligible for home health care under their insurance, yet who remains unable to provide for their needs on their own,” says Lesley Bratro, registered nurse and agency director.

For example, an individual with a wound that is progressively healing may find that Medicare won’t cover costs for someone to come to their home to do a simple dressing, even if they cannot do it themselves. 

“We can now help them with that,” Bratro says.

Similarly, an individual whose medication needs were formerly met by a home health provider may find themselves without assistance when their home health care benefits are no longer in effect.

However, the Mountain Home Care client who receives nursing services will be able to ask their nurse to fill medication organizers, monitor for errors, and make sure medications are taken on time and correctly. These measures add up to reduced risk for emergency room visits, especially for elderly patients, the agency says. 

Written by Emily Study