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The Home Care Industry Is Adapting to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:48 PM

The home care industry is opening the doors to be a valuable partner in ACOs. ACOs consist of physician groups or other acute-care providers that receive Medicare payment incentives for handling the health of their patient population. This method has proven to be a lower cost option for patients.

“Home care can no longer remain as it is in the status quo,” Barbara Knott, executive director of SCAL Home Care and Kaiser Permanente, said at Post-Acute Link Care Continuum conference in Chicago in June. “If you still look how you did five years ago, you’re already behind.”

According to a panel of experts who spoke on the topic of ACOs, the following things need to be taken into consideration by home care agencies:
1. Understand your business
2. Leverage services with data
3. Don’t be everything to everyone
4. Build a network
5. Collaborations are key

“We don’t consider it to be a competitive environment,” Scott Herman, CEO of Jordan Health Services, said. “We look at the baby boomer curve. Speaking together we are going to make our industry better.” Jordan Health Services provides in-home care to patients in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas and takes both private pay and Medicare/Medicaid patients.

“You have to make sure everyone is thinking in the same vein of thought when trying to build something,” said Knott. “No home care agency can manage a community itself.”

In order for home care to be considered as a partner in ACOs, the industry must be fully understood and seen as a partner in ACOs. Over time, this will be proven by data.

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