BrightStar Care Targets Health System, Payer Partnerships with Latest Pilot

Two Chicago-based in-home care companies are teaming up in a move that illustrates bigger home care trends.

On Tuesday, BrightStar Care — one of the largest home care franchisers in the nation — announced it’s joining Dina’s digital home care coordination network. In doing so, the home care and senior living franchise organization hopes to enhance its ability to work with hospital and health plan partners.

“We felt Dina’s vision for enabling greater coordination of care really aligned with our vision of leveraging BrightStar’s network to provide solutions for health systems and payers,” Dean Ulizio, BrightStar Care’s chief strategy officer, told Home Health Care News in an email. “We also were impressed by how their platform automates communication and referral-process workflow at a time when traditional approaches and methods have been tested by the COVID pandemic and changing health care landscape.”

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While its headquarters is in Chicago, BrightStar Care’s overall franchise network spans 340 locations, with about 75% of the U.S. population able to reach a local office within a 30-minute drive. BrightStar’s care portfolio ranges from medical-level home care and hospice services, to companionship support and other non-medical offerings.

Its new partner — Dina — is an in-home care technology provider that helps providers, hospitals, payers and others coordinate services around the home. Founded in 2015 as “Prepared Health,” the company initially started out as a health care communication platform inspired by social media.

Since then, however, Dina has evolved to also help its partners collect all sorts of patient data from inside the home. The tech company additionally helps partners by using AI to recommend evidence-based, non-medical interventions that can lead to fewer ER visits and unnecessary hospitalizations.

Recently, Dina expanded its services to include a light-weight remote patient monitoring package, too.

“Dina’s model of care is coming together around this label we’re using more and more called ‘care traffic control,’ which really helps hospitals and health plans up-level or upscale their traditional case management or population-health functions,” Dina President and CEO Ashish Shah told HHCN. “That’s to be able to more closely coordinate and monitor patients in the future care setting — the home.”

BrightStar Care will initially work with Dina in the Philadelphia market, where Dina has built a strong partnership network of home health, hospital and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

Through the Dina platform, all of those groups can now turn to BrightStar to fill non-medical home care needs focused on social determinants of health.

“They’re going to be a good, large player in that market,” Shah said. “And they’ll join in with groups like Bayada Home Health Care, Holy Redeemer and others that we have partnered with in that region.”

There are a few use-cases that BrightStar Care is particularly excited about, including the automation of the referral process.

Broadly, Dina makes it easier for discharge planners and case managers to choose providers based on quality and geography, streamlining communication and workflows, Ulizio said.

“Dina also has a capability around coordinating care throughout the client’s journey, where family members, providers and home care staff can communicate with each other and create a circle of care around the individual,” he added.

Although BrightStar Care plans to first test out Dina in Philadelphia, there’s a good chance the partnership will grow to additional markets in the not-too-distant future.

“Over the years, we’ve learned that successful rollouts start with successful pilots,” Ulizio said. “They give you the opportunity to learn what you don’t know, gain understanding of how the marketplace and end clients will react, and identify what challenges our franchisees will have. While we often launch in selected markets with a new program, it is almost always with the intent of vetting the program to prepare it for a systemwide launch.”

On a general level, the new partnership between BrightStar Care and Dina reflects the increasingly important role home care plays in managing populations. That role will likely grow more critical in days to come.

As a result of record-breaking COVID-19 numbers this November, health care organizations continue to look for ways to shift care into the home and out of facilities.

“COVID has definitely accelerated at-home care delivery models, whether it’s high-acuity hospital-at-home services, SNF-at-home services or dialysis at home,” Shah said. “We’re just seeing an explosion of care being transitioned to the home. That’s one major driver of our model, because it’s not any one provider that can deliver everything you need. It’s often a collection of different service providers that need to be tightly coordinated.”

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