The current chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will soon leave his post in Washington D.C. to join Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) and fill a newly created position dedicated to innovation.
HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein will become LHC Group’s first chief innovation and technology officer in June, the home health, hospice and personal care services provider announced Tuesday. In his future role, Greenstein will help lead LHC Group into new value-based arrangements and look for additional opportunities to leverage data, remote monitoring and tele-medicine in patients’ homes.
“Home health is in a position today where we are ready to accelerate, in a meaningful way, our movement toward alternative-payment models, value-based arrangements and risk arrangements, especially with our managed care partners,” LHC Group CEO Keith Myers told Home Health Care News. “[Greenstein] joins our team as someone who will be spending a great deal of his time and effort in that area, committed to that.”
LHC Group became the second-largest home health care provider in the country when it officially completed its $2.4 billion “merger of equals” with Louisville, Kentucky-based Almost Family Inc.—and its HealthCare Innovations business segment—last month. As a result of the deal, LHC Group now has 780 locations across 37 states, with the entire network covering more than 60% of the U.S. population aged 65 and older.
The acquisition of Almost Family’s health care innovations division—a separate business line created in 2015 to invest in alternative health care solutions—gives LHC Group a head start in its pursuit of value-based arrangements, but it was not the sole reason behind the creation of the new chief innovation and technology officer position, according to Myers.
“We would have done it without the health care innovations segment of Almost Family,” Myers said. “We would have still created [the position] ourselves from scratch.”
Moving forward, the innovations business segment will report to Greenstein, he said.
Prior to his post at HHS, Greenstein served as CEO of Blend Health Insights, as managing director of worldwide health for Microsoft and as a regional president for Quartet Health. Greenstein was also a cabinet member in Louisiana, serving as secretary of the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals.
LHC Group had long “courted” Greenstein even before he landed with HHS, Myers said.
Opportunities to leverage data, remote monitoring and tele-medicine are greatest in the home health and personal care spaces, according to Myers.
“What’s very unique about [Greenstein] is, not only does he have the experience and knowledge of alternative-payment models, but he has this deep technology background, and there’s a convergence there,” he said. “We’re going to leverage technology to a much greater degree in our organization in the future, especially as we enter more and more of those value-based arrangements.”
The Almost Family transaction makes LHC Group “large enough and significant enough” to attract top-tier talent, a key advantage as other home health companies begin to make similar moves, Myers said.
LHC Group has about 30,000 employees that work in home health, hospice and personal care services.
“It’s a big, bold and permanent commitment by our company to move in this direction,” he said. “I see our colleagues, others in the home health industry, many of them doing the same thing in a different way.”
Written by Robert Holly