Home-based care providers are moving towards value-based care for many reasons, but perhaps chief among them is the freedom to have the same end goal as patients and insurers.
When providers are solely focused on outcomes, that allows the freedom to do what’s best for the patient at all costs. That, in turn, satisfies insurers.
Aligning all three parties then offers flexibility on the provider side, Justin Zaghi, the chief medical officer at Heal, told Home Health Care News.
“The fact that we operate in a value-based care modality gives me the freedom to build out our remote patient monitoring program or hire a really comprehensive care coordination staff,” Zaghi said. “I can do these things and not have to worry about whether it makes sense on a fee-for-service basis. I have to worry about whether it actually impacts outcomes.”
Heal is a Los Angeles-based in-home primary care provider that focuses primarily on seniors. Heal’s two largest markets are Georgia and New York, but the company has been growing at a rapid pace since 2021.
“We’ve actually grown our attributed patients by 340% since 2021,” Zaghi said. “We’ve doubled the number of full-time providers in the past year.”
In the midst of that growth, Heal transitioned from a fee-for-service model to value-based care one. Zaghi said the company found that hiring nurse practitioners who had home health experience was a key factor in making the transition a smooth one.
Making sure Heal employees are properly trained and understand how to deliver compassionate, comprehensive primary care in a value-based framework is an ongoing emphasis for Heal. Furthermore, since shifting from an on-demand primary care company that served the general public to a senior-focused provider, technology has become a priority.
“For the past two, three years, the biggest change I’ve observed is an increased adoption of telemedicine,” Zaghi said. “The pandemic really forced us to try it and we’ve seen that it works quite well.”
Even though telemedicine works, Zaghi doesn’t believe that it will completely replace in-person care.
“But what it’s done is it has established itself as a great adjunct to the in-person care that we deliver,” he said. “What’s happened is that it’s led to a proliferation of hybrid models where [we provide] partly house calls, partly telemedicine, and that really allows us to provide the best of both worlds.”
Technology is helping bridge the gaps between caregiver and patient, he said. And remote patient monitoring was another tech-enabled tool that allowed Heal to evolve in the home environment.
“What I find is really unique about providing care in the home environment is the ability to develop a patient relationship on a really unparalleled basis,” Zaghi said. “You’re in the home environment where they live, where they work, where they play. You can make observations in the home that you’re unable to in a typical doctor’s office.”
As the demand for home-based care continues to grow, Heal sees a bright future for its own growth, aided in part by the promise of value-based care.
“That freedom allows me to ultimately deliver better care to patients,” Zaghi said. “When [patients] see that they’re getting better care, they love it, and that’s really been helping our growth.”