In the Biz: Home Health Joint Venture to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, home health care is teeming with business activity. Here are some of the industry’s latest investments, acquisitions and partnerships:

Strategic Partnership Creates Documentation, Quality Solution For Agencies

Jacksonville, Florida-based Forcura and Floral Park, New York-based Quality In Real Time (QIRT) have announced a new strategic partnership that aims to strengthen quality and workflow in the home care and hospice industries.

Forcura offers paperless document management and tracking solutions for health care organizations, with a focus on home health, hospice and managed care organizations. QIRT, on the other hand, provides quality assurance, coding accuracy and education, and full clinical consulting services to home care and hospice organizations across the country.

Bringing the two together, the companies say, will create a complete document management, compliance and quality assurance solution for the industry.

“Forcura and Quality in Real Time partnering enables both of our companies to provide the industry’s only end-to-end document compliance solution,” said Craig Mandeville, CEO and founder of Forcura, in a written statement. 

QIRT staff will now have real-time access to clinical documents from any location and can complete compliance reviews in a fraction of the time. Forcura clients will benefit from QIRT’s quality assurance, coding, tools and expertise.

“Accurate documentation, paperless physician order tracking and improvement in document turnaround time are a few key areas where home health and hospice customers of both organizations have seen returns, resulting in significant cost savings and reimbursement gains,” the companies say.

Sale of Loving Care Agency to Create Home Health Spin-Off

MTS Health Investors, LLC, a health care-focused private equity firm, announced that it has completed the sale of its portfolio company, Loving Care Agency (LCA) and its parent holding company, to Epic Health Services Inc.

Coincident with the close, LCA’s adult division will be spun off into a new operating entity separate from Epic Health Services, called Secura Home Health.

Based in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., LCA provides skilled nursing services across seven states to more than 1,500 medically complex and fragile children in their homes and schools. Epic Health Services is a provider of pediatric skilled nursing and therapy services, as well as adult home health services.

“The sale of LCA to Epic Health Services creates a market-leading skilled pediatric nursing platform to better serve patients and their families while also delivering a terrific outcome for MTS’ investors,” said Curtis Lane, senior managing director of MTS, in a written statement.

Lincoln International LLC Healthcare Investment Banking Group served as sole financial advisor, and McDermott Will & Emery LLP served as legal advisor, to LCA on the transaction.

CIT Corporate Finance, Healthcare served as sole lead arranger, sole bookrunner and administrative agent in the $210 million senior secured credit facility to support Epic Heath Services’ acquisition of LCA. 

LHC Group Announces Home Health Joint Venture 

LHC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG), a national provider of home health, hospice and post-acute health care services, recently announced that it had entered into a home health joint venture with Missouri Delta Medical Center. The service area includes six counties in Southeast Missouri with a population of 150,000.

Missouri Delta Medical Center, based in Sikeston, Mo., is a 188-bed licensed general medical and surgical hospital.

“We recognize that our commitment to our patients doesn’t end with their discharge from the hospital,” said Jason Schrumpf, CEO of Missouri Delta Medical Center, in a written statement. “This partnership seamlessly transitions patients from the acute to the post-acute setting in a unique and collaborative way that puts patient care first.”

Schrumpf added that the joint venture aims to produce both better metrics for the hospital and better care for the patients. 

“As the nation’s most experienced home health partner for hospitals, LHC Group has a strong track record of working with health systems to reduce avoidable readmissions and keep patients where they want to be – recovering in the comfort of home,” Schrumpf said.

Home Health Services Provider Makes Round of Announcements

Almost Family, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFAM), a provider of home health nursing services, recently made a few announcements concerning its investment in and development of alternative health care solutions. 

First, it has announced the formal creation of a new HealthCare Innovations business segment to house and separately report on the company’s developmental activities outside its traditional home health business platform. 

“We will provide enhanced segment-based disclosures on a regular basis to help investors more fully comprehend the value implications of our innovative development activities separately from the foundational value of our core home health operations,” said Steve Guenthner, Almost Family president.

The company noted that its new and expanded disclosures will be made for the first time in the filing of its Form 10K for the year ended December 31, 2014.

Second, Almost Family has invested up to $2 million in NavHealth, a startup enterprise that seeks to develop technology-based tools and analytics to improve patient experiences and lower the overall costs of care. 

Among its other objectives, NavHealth seeks to develop and market a software platform designed to assist health care providers, managed care organizations and insurers in their efforts to aggregate patient data from various sources, improve patient engagement, satisfaction and outcomes and lower the cost of health care delivery.

Almost Family is co-invested in NavHealth with founders Aneesh Chopra and Hunch Analytics, which Chopra co-founded with Sanju Bansal.  

Greystone Health Network Expands in Ohio With Latest Acquisition 

Greystone Healthcare Management Corp.’s latest acquisition enhances the Greystone Health Network in Ohio by adding Executive Care of Columbus, a home health and private duty nursing services provider serving Columbus, Newark and Mt. Vernon in Ohio.

“Joining the Greystone Health Network is the right next step for us,” said former owner Penni McClain-Carver. “This ensures our legacy and our employees will now have expanded opportunities for professional growth and stability.”

This expansion of Greystone’s services complements its existing health network in Columbus, Ohio, which currently includes The Rehabilitation and Health Center of Gahanna and Greystone Hospice of Ohio.

“This is an important component in our continuum of care,” said Connie Bessler, CEO of Greystone Healthcare Management. “Executive Care provides compassionate care focused on enhancing the quality of life of our patients. We are adding a successful and distinguished home health care organization to Greystone’s growing network of resources in Ohio.”

BlackBerry Partners Help Drive Solutions for Home Health Companies

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY), a global provider of mobile communications, recently announced new BlackBerry partner applications available for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android devices that are enabling innovative solutions to improve health care communications, workflow and patient care.

The BlackBerry platform, the company says, enables solutions that provide health care organizations with security, connectedness and the exchange of real-time data, while ensuring privacy of patient data and supporting a HIPAA-compliant environment.

Using its platform, BlackBerry’s partners help deliver solutions for health care that impact productivity, efficiency, patient care and cash flow of a health care facility. 

One such partner is GoldCare, a provider of health care information management software for home and community, children’s services and long-term care organizations. One of GoldCare’s customers, Revera Home Health, recently deployed a fleet of BlackBerry 10 smartphones pre-loaded with GoldCare’s MobilityPlus mobile health care management application across its home care division.

“As a health care provider, we trust BlackBerry and BES12 to secure our communications and the transfer of sensitive patient data,” said Jo-anne Stone-Burke, national director of strategic and operational transformation at Revera Home Health. “Mobilizing our field workers with BlackBerry smartphones, equipped with GoldCare’s MobilityPlus [telehealth] solution, has already been showing a great return on our investment. We’re seeing a decrease in preventable billing errors and reductions in missed visits and missed shifts.”

Written by Emily Study

Emily Study