As home health continues to be more integrated into the overall care continuum, private duty companies are starting to play a bigger role taking care of patients after leaving acute care settings.
Hometeam, a private duty in-home care startup that has made headlines with its successful rounds of funding, has partnered with a major skilled nursing provider in New Jersey, CareOne. The new partnership aims to transition patients from CareOne’s rehabilitation facilities safely to care in the home, expanding the rehab benefits from CareOne through the resources of Hometeam’s technology and caregivers. The new program is called “Next Step Home.”
“We started talking with CareOne about how we could continue the work that CareOne is doing from the facility into the home and make it a seamless transition,” Josh Bruno, CEO and founder of Hometeam, told Home Health Care News. “So we started a program together called the Next Step Home.”
CareOne operates 30 facilities and discharges up to tens of thousands of patients per year. The two companies completed a pilot study and have since entered into a full program to serve discharged patients.
Hometeam has quickly become a major in-home care provider since its founding in 2013, with plans to continue expanding into new markets across the three states it serves—New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This most recent partnership expands the company to a new type of service, according to Bruno.
“From our standpoint, it really is a new product that we are offering,” Bruno said. “It’s the transition to home.”
The partnership with CareOne helps address a need that Hometeam identified for patients transitioning from an acute care setting to the home.
“All too often, the big pain-point that we saw was that families were finding us through word of mouth or online,” Bruno said. “But they were finding us after they had already identified a need and had a moment of panic. It’s when they ask, ‘How do I get home from the hospital’ or ‘How do I get home from rehab?’ We want to reach families before this moment of panic.”
Hometeam is well known for it innovative approach to matching caregivers with older adults in its mission to provide more “beautiful days” for patients. Home team’s technology includes an iPad in every home to update care plans and keep families and patients involved in what’s going on. These aspects of the business model are integrated into the partnership with CareOne.
“What is unique about this is that we are taking the plan of care that the rehab facility has designed, and we’re electronically putting that onto an iPad in the home of each family,” Bruno explained. “Then our aides are actually following the family from the facility directly home and making sure the home is set up properly—that we have groceries in the fridge, the ramp is installed at the front door for the wheelchair and all the hardware, have the medication ready to go. Then we are following doctor’s orders in the home every single day and sharing that information back with the physician and the CareOne facility as well.”
The new program has required some additional training on the side of Hometeam for the caregivers and staff to accommodate patients discharged from CareOne’s facilities and ensure better patient outcomes and satisfaction.
“Somebody coming out of the facility has slightly different needs for their transition,” Bruno explained. “So, we’ve trained our caregivers, we’ve trained our concierge and our RNs to really make this the smoothest transition possible. We had to build our own courses in house.”
Hometeam is still seeking out other opportunities to partner with health care services providers, including other skilled nursing providers in its biggest market base in New York. By the end of 2016, the company expects to expand into 10 new markets.
Hometeam’s funding successes over the past few years, including a recent round that brought the total up to $38.5 million, has enabled the company to form a partnership at this scale.
“In this scenario, we’re able to work with dozens of facilities, which is flipping the equation here, meaning that we have the team of professional caregivers, the technology and the scaleability to be able to take on a much larger partnership,” Bruno said.
Written by Amy Baxter