For years now, home-based care providers have been vocal about shifting more to value-based care. Home care providers, in particular, have been taking greater steps to make this a reality.
One home care company that exemplifies this is the Dallas, Texas-based Outreach Health. The company is a provider of home- and community-based services that serves roughly 5,000 clients in Texas and southern Arizona.
In recent years, Outreach Health has increasingly turned its attention to value-based care.
“Most of our focus and investment is going towards value-based care, creating meaningful value-based arrangements with our existing payers and trying to get density in the markets that we’re currently serving,” Outreach Health CEO John David Ball told Home Health Care News.
One of the ways Outreach Health is leaning into value-based care is by working closely with one of these payers.
“We actually did a joint value-based arrangement with the payer,” he said. “We sat down with them and basically designed it from the ground up. That’s been really interesting.”
One thing the company is particularly proud of is the way they’ve been able to establish care coordination with health plans.
“We’re in the home every single day, and we’re able to share information with the health plan and provide the intervention,” Ball said. “A lot of the health plans have a lot of resources, it’s just a matter of matching that up with what’s happening in the home. We’re able to make that observation and make a referral to the health plan.”
This has been a key tool in reducing hospitalizations, according to Ball.
At times, Outreach Health has even been able to intervene on behalf of a senior that is having difficulties with their primary care provider.
“There have been times when it’s not a good match with their [primary care provider] or the specialist they’re seeing, and they’re not communicating that to the health plan,” Ball said. “We’ve been able to intervene and let the health plan know, ‘They really don’t like their doctor, so you might want to help them find a different PCP.’ That has been very successful.”
Home care providers are generally in the early stages of becoming more active participants in value-based care.
Still, Ball stresses that home care providers have the ability to deliver positive outcomes.
“No one’s really cracked that yet, and they’re to figure it out,” he said. “When you look at the whole care continuum, this is the lowest cost setting of care, but what happens in the home is arguably the most impactful on members’ total cost of care and social determinants of health.”
Aside from the company’s focus on value-based care, Outreach Health has a number of other projects on its plate.
“We’re sponsoring a couple of projects with the University of Texas,” Ball said. “One is from a more technological perspective. We’re looking at different IoT devices, home sensors, things that can be placed in the home to try to augment the workforce, all while capturing data that feeds automated models.”