Hospital-at-Home Company Contessa Continues 2019 Partnership Boom, Announces Deal with Prisma Health

Contessa Health has entered into an agreement with Greenville, South Carolina-based Prisma Health, marking its third hospital partnership this year and its fifth since the company was founded in 2015.

And that won’t be the last deal of 2019 for the Nashville-based hospital-at-home company, according to CEO Travis Messina, who says Contessa has finalized and is set to announce another deal soon.

The recent boom in Contessa’s deal activity comes as the health care industry and the players operating within it continue to recognize the value of moving care into the home.

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“The acceptance of the model has really been driven by the progressiveness of our partners,” Messina told Home Health Care News, also crediting the Contessa team. “All of our health systems understand what is really necessary to move value-based care forward.”

Prisma Health is the latest system in that camp. The 18-hospital system will be the first organization in South Carolina to offer Contessa’s home recovery care model, a risk-based hospital-at-home offering.

Prisma will roll out the model in early 2020, according to Angela Orsky, vice president of post-acute services at Prisma Health.

“We’ll use a crawl, walk, run mentality as we continue to build out the model,” Orsky told HHCN. “We don’t have a defined number of patients [it will serve], but we know the scalability is there.”

Home recovery care will first be available to patients at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital, followed later by Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital and Prisma Health Baptist Easley Hospital. The goal is to eventually make the model accessible to any eligible Prisma Health patient, Orsky said.

Eligible patients must be members of one of the health plans Contessa has contracts with and have acute conditions that aren’t life threatening. Some examples include heart failure, dehydration and pneumonia.

Additionally, patients must complete a verbal survey to ensure the home where they’ll be receiving treatment is safe for caregivers and recipients.

Contessa is paid for providing the services through an episodic capitated environment, in which it goes at-risk to deliver high quality outcomes at a lower cost than before. 

Messina credits those outcomes as another driving force behind the 2019 expansion of the company’s footprint.

Specifically, eligible patients who are given the option to participate in Contessa’s home recovery care model choose to do so more than 90% of the time, according to a press release announcing the news. Additionally, participants have seen a 44% reduction in readmission rates compared to patients who received hospital care in traditional acute care settings.

Such results were a big reason Prisma Health decided to partner with Contessa, Orsky said.

“They’ve just been tremendous in helping us identify … our opportunities and how to bring this to market in South Carolina,” Orsky said, noting that the partnership will differentiate the health system while also improving care for patients.

On Contessa’s end, Prisma Health was a good fit due to high levels of penetration with MA enrollment, in addition to the fact that the health system’s services span the care continuum and that the markets in which it operates are competitive, Messina said. 

Contessa will continue to look for such partnerships in the months to come.

“We have another [deal] finalized, but we won’t be announcing that until later in 2019, so that will be a total of six partnerships,” he said.

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