HomeHero Shifting Gears with New Hospital Partnership

One home care startup that has grabbed headlines with its eye-catching funding numbers and innovative technology platform is shifting gears in a new partnership to expand its services.

Santa Monica, Califonia-based HomeHero has partnered with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the largest non-profit academic medical center in the western United States, to create the Safe Transition Home program to transport patients from the hospital to their homes.

The program is staffed by HomeHero’s licensed and trained care professionals and helps Cedars-Sinai address a huge problem of cancelled appointments and procedures due to lack of a safe ride and transition home.

“What they are looking for is a way of discharging their patients through a responsible party,” HomeHero CEO and Founder Kyle Hill told Home Health Care News. “That’s the base solution. Cedars-Sinai not only wants a way to transport from the hospital to home, but also have an accompanied ride back to the hospital for scheduled appointments.”

There are a few main goals of the program: to reduce hospital readmissions, reduce length of stay and reduce cancellations for appointments and procedures. The partnership with Cedars-Sinai is the first transportation service line for HomeHero, but is somewhat similar to a problem another West Coast home care provider, 24Hr HomeCare, sought to solve by partnering with Uber to provide safe transit for hospital and home care patients.

Continuing Care at Home

As HomeHero is first and foremost a private duty home care company, a big piece of the program involves extending the care from the hospital setting into the home in a seamless transition. A Cedars-Sinai patient can pick their caregiver using HomeHero’s technology and algorithm for a good match.

Once a caregiver from HomeHero picks up a discharged patient, they will perform a home assessment, collecting data via the HomeHero technology that can be analyzed by care professionals. That information can be sent to a case manager at Cedars-Sinai to better capture which patients are at a higher risk of readmission.

“Most home care agencies, if they were to do a transition program, they would pick up the patient then bring them home,” Hill said. “We integrate a lot of technology into the process. The caregivers will go through a checklist of items and do a series of surveys in the home that are specific to that medical condition. Then we collect all this information, wrap it up with a bow and send back the risk profile to the hospital on that patient.”

With HomeHero acting as the eyes and ears of the hospital within a patient’s home, hospital case managers are can have information about a patient’s social environment and work with HomeHero to ensure the patient has a safe home that can help them heal.

The program is beginning with two units at the hospital, and HomeHero has dedicated about 20% of it care staff to serving patients from Cedars-Sinai, according to Hill. The program is funded in part by Cedars-Sinai, and also private pay customers. The rate for a ride from the hospital and a home assessment run at HomeHero’s normal billing rate for private duty, non-medical home care, which is around $22 per hour in the Los Angeles area, Hill told HHCN.

Under the program, Cedars-Sinai will pay for the transportation and initial assessment provided by HomeHero for a certain group of the highest-risk patients. The nonprofit medical center made an investment in HomeHero earlier this year and is currently an equity partner in the company.

While the program does not currently tie the private duty provider HomeHero to any bundled payment initiatives within Cedars-Sinai, there is a chance that the partnership will expand as alternative payment models come down the line and incentivize hospitals to follow their patients after discharge.

“This is one of what we expect to be many partnerships within the hospital,” Hill said.

Written by Amy Baxter

Photo courtesy of HomeHero.