Editor’s Picks: Almost Family’s $128 Million Joint Venture

Go Cubs go! That’s what we’re all saying here in our Chicago newsroom as we cheer on the Chicago Cubs in their attempt to make it to World Series.

While we’ve been root-root-rooting for our home team, we were also sure to bring our readers the latest happenings across the home health care landscape.

At the top of readers’ minds was a joint venture deal between Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) and a major hospital group, Community Health Systems, for $128 million. Readers were also catching up on how hospital care is being provided in the home.

Most Read

Almost Family Deal Forms Largest Hospital, Home Health Joint Venture—One of the nation’s largest home health care providers has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the home health and hospice assets of one the nation’s largest hospital companies.The result will be the biggest hospital-home health joint venture in the nation, the companies announced.

How the ‘Re-Engineered Hospital’ Presents a Home Health Opportunity—Some big thinkers believe that the heart of the U.S. health care system is shifting away from hospitals and other institutional settings, into people’s homes. Those who need proof that this is occurring may find some in New York City, where Mount Sinai Health Network is in the vanguard of providing hospital-level care for patients at home.

Pre-Claim Tests Home Health, Physician Relationships—As Illinois home health agencies have grappled with numerous challenges imposed by the Medicare Pre-Claim Review (PCR) demonstration, making sure home health can work hand-in-hand with physicians has emerged as an acutely important issue. The requirement of having a physician signature on the home health plan of care was an early concern voiced by agencies, after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in June that the pre-claim review would be implemented.

How Home Health Can Win ACO Partners—Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the home health industry has become more involved in accountable care organizations (ACOs), seeing it as an opportunity to stay relevant as payment shifts to reward value rather than volume. However, there are challenges to being selected to be a part of these provider groups, and agencies must continue to pursue strategies that will make them competitive.

Around the Web

House Calls That Work. Price: Zero—An organization based in Santa Fe, Coming Home Connection, is helping take care of the local elderly population with free in-home care. With 400 volunteers trained since 2007, the group provided 20,000 hours of free care in 2015 and operates on $250,000 per year in grants.

The New Health Care Partnership: How America’s Hospitals, Home Care Agencies and Community Physicians Are Working Together to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs—Marki Flannery, executive vice president and chief of provider operations at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), pens an article on the emerging partnerships between home health care providers and major hospital systems.

Amy’s Adds

‘Elder Orphans’ On Rise as Chicagoans Age, Live Alone, Report Says—Nearly one-third of seniors in Chicago live alone, according to a report using U.S. census data, and many are finding support in one another through the help of social media, local news outlet DNA Info reports. The “Elder Orphan Facebook Group” is an online membership with nearly 3,500 seniors across the country and many from Chicago. As more baby boomers continue to age, the number of seniors living alone is expected to balloon.

Written by Amy Baxter