In January of 2020, the home-based care company Prospero Health had 1,700 patients in three states. It plans to end this year with 25,000 patients in 26 states.
The Boston-based company announced its entrance into six additional states Thursday, which finalizes its broader expansion plans originally unveiled in December.
A home health care company, Prospero Health provides care and support to patients with serious health conditions through a team-based approach. Those teams generally include doctors, nurses and social workers trained to address complex medical needs.
The company also provides personal care support, such as helping patients mitigate environmental hazards within their homes, and offers telehealth support to all of its patients.
“Our focus is on the serious illness population and particularly the over-65 population,” Doug Wenners, the CEO and founder of Prospero Health, told Home Health Care News. “And obviously people suffer with serious illnesses all over the country. So our [eventual] goal would be to serve people in need in all 50 states.”
Prospero — which also has headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee — is now venturing into Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Vermont and West Virginia after moving into California earlier this year. As of now, the company provides home-based medical care to 11,000 people, which means it plans to more than double its census by year’s end.
As part of the six-state expansion, Prospero will enter several new major markets, including Baltimore and Las Vegas.
With about 40 million people in the U.S. living with advanced illness and millions of seniors still waiting to be vaccinated, Prospero has seen a spike in interest in its services during the public health emergency.
Wenners does not expect those tailwinds to taper off as the pandemic subsides.
“I think as a country, we haven’t done a great job of figuring out how to care for people as they age and contend with serious illness,” Wenners said. “We have a system of care that is built around the systems — and not built around what patients and families actually need. We’re trying to redesign care around patients and families. And we think that’s a trend that will only get stronger over the next decade.”
Prospero Health contracts with payers and then serves their members. Currently, the Medicare Advantage insurer UnitedHealthcare is its most significant partnership, but it does have more relationships in the works that it is not yet ready to announce, Wenners said.
The company projects that it will have at least two new payer partners by the end of 2021.
A stronger recognition of home-based care’s worth — whether its medical or non-medical services — has been huge for Prospero Health’s growth. Its flexibility and ability to meet patients wherever and whenever is what it’s banking on to drive further growth moving forward.
“It’s the philosophy we have that our patients and families just deserve care wherever and whenever they need it,” Wenners said. “It sounds so simple. But like I was saying before, we live in a country where that’s not the case. We get health care when it’s convenient for our doctor or when it’s on an emergency basis. When you tell someone, ‘I will come to you, whenever you need me, wherever you need me,’ it’s such a distinctive care experience.”
As for the company’s next steps for growth, it doesn’t have a clear road map. It would like to be in 50 states, of course, but its expansion is just one of the things it’s concerned about as of now.
“I’m anticipating we will probably enter at least 10 more states next year, but that’s still to be decided,” Wenners said. “But we’re also going to work to continuously add to the clinical services that we provide to patients and families, including increasing the number of point-of-care solutions that we can provide to patients in their homes to make sure that their needs are being addressed.”