Bayada, Baptist Health Announce New Joint Venture

Bayada Home Health Care — one of the largest nonprofit providers of in-home care and post-acute care services in the country — is expanding its already massive footprint.

It’s doing so at a time when the need for home-based care is at an all-time high.

On Thursday, the Moorestown, New Jersey-based company announced it is forming a new joint venture with Baptist Health, a faith-based, mission-driven health system in Northeast Florida. The new JV will be known as “Baptist Home Health Care by Bayada” and begin operations in early 2021, pending licensing and regulatory approvals.

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“This partnership enables Baptist Health to provide a wider array of in-home services to help people with multiple chronic conditions as well as patients recovering from an illness, injury or recent hospitalization,” Joe Mitrick, president of transitional care for Baptist Health and the hospital president of Baptist Beaches, said in a statement. “The demand for high-quality home health care services is rising, and there has never been a better time to build on our legacy of care for the community.”

As an overall system, Baptist Health comprises Baptist Medical Center Beaches, Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Baptist Medical Center South and Baptist Clay Medical Campus. The system also runs Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Northeast Florida’s only children’s hospital.

Bayada — which transitioned to nonprofit status in 2018 — provides a range of in-home care services to adults and children via its 345 total locations. Its U.S. footprint spans 22 states, with additional areas of operation in Canada, Germany, India and four other countries.

Among the strategic advantages, Baptist’s new joint venture with Bayada will allow the system to care for more of its patients in the home setting, something it had already been doing for 25 years.

An increasing number of health systems and hospitals are forging similar relationships with home-based care operators, which are generally better positioned to navigate the series of regulatory and payment changes currently taking place.

Teaming up with home health organizations also often gives systems an edge when it comes to avoiding costly readmissions.

“Health systems and hospitals have a vested interest in the success of their patients after they are discharged,” Bayada CEO David Baiada said in a statement. “With 45 years of home health care expertise grounded in our values of compassion, excellence and reliability, we are recognized as a valuable resource to help keep patients safe at home and out of the hospital.”

Nearly half the nation’s hospitals are getting lower payments for all Medicare patients this year because of their history of readmitting patients, Kaiser Health News recently reported. The penalties are part of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, created under the Affordable Care Act.

Those penalties come at a time when systems and hospitals are already financially stressed, as many have had to postpone or cancel elective procedures due to the COVID-19 virus.

“We are committed to partnering with organizations like Baptist Health to meet the post-acute care needs of patients and other community residents, advancing Bayada’s mission to help millions of people experience a better quality of life in their own homes,” Baiada’s statement continued.

In addition to its core home health and post-acute care services, Bayada also offers non-skilled home care and private-duty nursing services to high-tech pediatric clients. It also delivers physician house calls.

Earl Evans — executive director of Baptist AgeWell, which provides enhanced primary care for adults 65 and older — said Bayada’s mission-driven mindset made it a perfect JV match.

“Baptist Health and Bayada’s culture and values are strongly aligned,” Evans said in a statement.

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