CareCentrix Expands into Palliative Care with Turn-Key Health Acquisition

CareCentrix — a care management company that focuses on home-based care — announced Monday it has acquired palliative care company Turn-Key Health. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hartford, Connecticut-based CareCentrix provides post-acute care services, discharge management, durable medical equipment (DME) and home-based care services.

A portfolio company of Consonance Capital Partners, Turn-Key Health is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based community-based palliative care provider.

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As part of the deal, Turn-Key Health’s Palliative Illness Management (PIM) program will be integrated into CareCentrix’s platform. Turn-Key’s PIM program uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to help establish care plans.

“One of the things that plans have really struggled with is … not identifying [when patients are] appropriate for these types of services until it’s too late in their journey and they’re on their way to hospice,” Melissa Carr, vice president and general manager of home services at CareCentrix, told Home Health Care News. “The beauty of what we can do between [CareCentrix and Turn-Key Health] is identify patients earlier and create those really smooth transitions to provide a better patient and caregiver experience.”

CareCentrix is looking to complete its integration of Turn-Key Health over the next six months, according to Carr.

CareCentrix’s move into the palliative care market was a carefully crafted one. The company identified palliative care as an emerging market and has made it an integral part of its growth strategy, specifically looking to Medicare Advantage (MA) opportunities.

More than 60 MA plans across the country are offering in-home palliative care as a supplemental benefit in 2020, according to an analysis by ATI Advisory. In 2019, just plans offered in-home palliative care as a benefit.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth, especially within Medicare Advantage payers, in the last couple of years,” Carr said. “There is interest amongst Medicaid and commercial payers as well. There’s growing evidence of palliative care’s ability to decrease the total cost of care while improving patient and caregiver experience. We think it’s a great time to enter the market.”

When it comes to lowering total cost of care, Turn-Key Health has been found to do just that.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, for example, featured Turn-Key’s work in predictive analytics. The study found that the company’s palliative care program reduced total cost of care by 20%, cut hospitalizations among a sample population by 33% and lowered ICU admissions by 38%.

CareCentrix and Turn-Key Health initially teamed up roughly a year ago in a partnership that allowed the company to start exploring the palliative care market.

“We looked at the different ways we could bring a palliative solution to bear in the market,” Carr said. “A partnership with a really sound provider who really had strong intellectual property within their predictive models —and some of the other tools — was really attractive for us. We recognized it would take us a lot longer to build up those capabilities internally.”

In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Carr stressed that there’s an immense need for palliative care. Still, she clarified that the Turn-Key Health deal was in the works long before the outbreak surfaced.

“COVID-19 highlights the mass need for palliative care to allow the most vulnerable to stay home with the appropriate clinical and non-clinical support and avoid the hospital,” she said.

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