The Chicago-based personal home care company Help at Home announced last week a new segment of their business that will focus on care coordination.
Help at Home Care Coordination will attempt to transform the delivery of in-home personal care, increase access to care and improve quality outcomes and client satisfaction for seniors aging in place.
In order to do so, the new model will connect caregiver observations to a network of providers and community resources to create a holistic experience for the patient, according to the company.
As one of the largest providers of home care in the country, Help at Home believes it has the responsibility – and capabilities – to do more than just step into its clients’ homes and provide them with daily living support.
That was the initial motivation behind a pilot project started about a year ago, Julie McCarter, Care Coordination president for Help at Home, told Home Health Care News.
“We started in some specific geographies in Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, and pulled some clients into this pilot program to get a better sense of their broader health care needs,” McCarter said. “Which — as you can imagine — confirmed our thesis that they have complex and multiple unmet needs across a spectrum of physical, behavioral and environmental needs.”
One of the goals of the pilot was to help clients live at home independently, with dignity, for longer periods of time.
Another goal was to create a coordination path for caregivers so that they feel like they have a bigger impact on the patients they serve.
“Satisfaction is such a simple word and yet it matters because satisfaction in our space creates tenure,” McCarter said. “It creates longer tenure of our caregiver employment, creates longer tenure with our clients. Keeping our clients healthy and able to be at home is really important to us.”
Help at Home’s 50,000 caregivers spend an average of about 20 hours per week in the home with clients. During that time, it’s a caregiver’s fundamental responsibility to notice changes in condition, McCarter said.
“We have an opportunity to capture, in a really simple and digital way, observations that our caregivers can make across physical issues and behavioral issues,” McCarter said. “Those simple observations flow into our clinical platform and create alerts for our broader clinical care coordination team. This, to me, is really where the holistic approach can start.”
The new care coordination model will be available for Help at Home’s Medicaid, Medicare and dual-eligible client populations across the country.
It’s an exciting time for a launch like this, McCarter said, given that in-home personal care is increasingly recognized as a vital service within the dual-eligible market and with Medicare Advantage plans.
“To me, this is an opportunity to take that foundation of home care services and innovate through simple, digital, weekly captures of observations and activating a broader health care system around that client,” McCarter said. “Then, as I turn to those stakeholders and those potential partners, enter into value-based agreements. This is a space that matters.”