The shift to value-based care can sometimes be seen as a challenge for the tens of thousands of home-based care providers that operate in the U.S. But WellSky is trying to make sure it can be viewed more as an opportunity.
The Overland Park, Kansas-based health care software company recently launched WellSky REACH, which it dubs “a new initiative to help post-acute and personal care providers more effectively collaborate with health payers and risk-bearing health systems.”
As part of the initiative, WellSky has already partnered with three well-known providers: Intrepid USA Healthcare, Concierge Home Care and Healthy Living Network.
REACH — which stands for “risk-enabled, analytical and coordinated health care” — is a tool for these providers to ride out the storm that is value-based care, WellSky CEO Bill Miller told Home Health Care News. As more people aged and more dollars and care got pushed into post-acute settings, WellSky recognized that the solutions of yesterday would no longer be adequate, which would lead to foreign and problematic environments for providers.
“The theory behind WellSky is that we are the company that’s helping our providers thrive in those environments,” Miller said. “Those three providers, a lot of their business is predicated off the fact that they are going to be one of those progressive health providers in home care, hospice and other settings. And they realize they’re going to need a great technology partner.”
Healthy Living Network had already recently switched over to the WellSky platform before the REACH partnership because of the recommendation from its clinical leadership.
What also helped WellSky’s case was its predictive analytics capabilities. The analytics department at WellSky is in-house, and that’s what intrigued Healthy Living Network CEO Julio Quiñones about it the most. They were building that analytical component into their tool, and it wouldn’t be from an outside source.
“We’re working with some payers on starting this journey from volume to value,” Quiñones told HHCN. “And for us, the predictive analytics is critical in our ability to execute on that journey.”
The Folsom, California-based Healthy Living Network is a home health and hospice provider. It operates 33 agencies across seven states in the west. Quiñones, who came on as the Healthy Living Network CEO in 2017, is also bullish on WellSky’s ability to connect provider to payer in general.
“The REACH team is helping us create a platform between payer and provider, where they can help get data from both sides, tie it together, create insights and work with us on creating protocols around actions depending on what the data says,” Quiñones said. “We really saw them as forward thinking, and it really fits the path we want to head down.”
Miller believes that REACH is an enticing tool to all of WellSky’s potential clients, and eventually will be applicable for all of them as well.
WellSky REACH does not yet have quantifiable goals, as to how many clients they want to work with or a number of patients they want to reach. For now, the idea is simply focusing on driving better care.
“There’s a great alignment in world views between our companies,” Quiñones said. “We think that alignment with WellSky leads to better results over time, and I think you see that with them creating the REACH platform.”
On a high level, increased collaborations between at-home care providers like Healthy Living Network and technology partners like WellSky is becoming far more common, especially when it comes to non-medical home care.
Historically, non-medical home care agencies haven’t been great at collecting and acting on data. That’s changing, however, prompted by payers’ realization that the home is often the lowest cost and most effective site of care.