Hometeam Partners with Therapy Company to Create ‘Care Extenders’

Hometeam, one of a new breed of tech-forward home care providers, has partnered with a large therapy company as part of an effort to help extend different types of care into people’s homes.

Having raised $32.5 million in a funding round last January, Hometeam has been one of several startups to secure major backing for a model of home care that uses technology to connect clients and caregivers and create a more seamless communication platform for all those involved in an episode of care.

Based in New York, Hometeam also offers services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In those markets, it now will be collaborating with Fox Rehabilitation, a professional private practice of physical, occupational, and speech therapists that has a large East Coast presence, operating in 10 states.

Specifically, Fox therapists and Hometeam care aides will be working together to help patients see through therapy care plans through improved adherence.

“Therapists are typically in the home two days a week, and they want to extend their work beyond the hours they’re there,” Hometeam founder and CEO Josh Bruno told Home Health Care News. “So, the therapist who is coming in and helping an individual regain the ability to walk might say, for the next three days, do sit-to-stand [exercises] or walk up the stairs three times.”

The therapist will work with the Hometeam caregiver and the client to train them on how to do these exercises, and the home care aide then will incorporate these activities during visits. Through the Hometeam iPad application, the therapist, care aide, and others involved can keep tabs on progress and alter plans as needed.

The Hometeam workers will be well-trained to assist in these activities, which will fall squarely under their purview, according to Bruno. This type of assistance is not so different from preparing low-sodium meals on a doctor’s orders, he said.

Hometeam will be identifying patients who could benefit from Fox’s services, and vice-versa, but the goal of the partnership is not so much to drive volume, Bruno explained. Rather, it’s to help differentiate Hometeam care aides as being “extenders” of other types of care into the home. In addition to therapy, this could mean care aides working to extend in-home nursing, hospice, and even physician care, Bruno said.

In addition, the company expects that the partnership will reduce hospitalizations and readmissions, prevent falls, and help on other metrics that are becoming increasingly important to health systems, payors, and other players across the continuum of care. Hometeam is tracking these metrics under this new collaboration, according to Bruno.

As for what makes this partnership stand out from other working relationships between therapy companies and in-home care providers, Bruno singles out Hometeam’s technology infrastructure that supports the endeavor through real-time feedback, and the incentive structure it has created for its workers to help motivate them.

“For me, I did not see this elsewhere in the market,” said Bruno, who volunteered at various agencies before starting Hometeam. “Some flavors of this may exist, but I haven’t seen it before.”

Hometeam itself does have similar relationship with a different rehab and senior care provider, though—CareOne in New Jersey.

Written by Tim Mullaney

Photo Credit: “Luce Blu” by Franco Dal Molin, CC BY-SA 2.0