In this twice-monthly newsletter, you will find updates on how health care organizations are striving to shift more health care delivery into the home – meeting patient needs where they are and expanding access to quality health care.
This newsletter recaps current events and research. Please send any news or events to email@example.com for future inclusion in this newsletter.
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Summary of New MHH Press Mentions
Becker's Hospital Review:Remote care platform joins hospital-at-home initiative backed by Amazon, Intermountain, Ascension (6/16) – Remote care monitoring platform Current Health is the latest organization to join Moving Health Home, a healthcare coalition founded by Amazon Care, Intermountain and Ascension, Current Health said June 15. Current Health pulls data from hundreds of remote monitoring devices, along with patient-reported data and EHR data, to pinpoint and predict onset and progression of diseases. A physician-led virtual command center manages the platform, which can also connect to various in-home healthcare devices and services.
Home Health Care News:Current Health Joins Moving Health Home Coalition (6/15) – Boston-based Current Health, a company that offers a remote care management platform to help health care providers conduct home-based care, has joined the Moving Health Home (MHH) coalition. “We must learn from the lessons of COVID-19 to shape the future of health care,” Krista Drobac, the founder of MHH, said in a statement. “The pandemic taught us that care in the home is not only possible, but extremely valuable when it comes to delivering more accessible, holistic and preventive care. Current Health’s first-hand experience enabling care in the home will be beneficial as we design and champion a new paradigm for care delivery.”
Forbes:Where Hospital-At-Home Programs Are Heading After Last Year's Boom (6/14) – Most payers agree that the home is the safest and most cost-effective site of care. We've seen that commercial payers usually follow Medicare, so if there are changes to reimbursement by CMS, commercial insurers will likely fall in line. Also, advocacy groups like Moving Health Home have attracted the likes of Amazon, BrightStar Care and others to make it easier for patients to access healthcare on their terms in the safest environment.
Becker's Hospital Review:Amazon deepens its healthcare presence: A timeline of the last year (6/14) – Pittsburgh-based UPMC and Milwaukee-based Advocate Aurora Health are the two latest health systems to join Moving Health Home, a new healthcare coalition founded by Amazon Care, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain and St. Louis-based Ascension.
Moving Health Home Welcomes Current Health
On June 15, Current Health announced it joined Moving Health Home (MHH), a coalition of healthcare companies committed to influencing federal and state policies to support the shift to home-based care. “We founded Current Health because we believe fully in the power of home-based care,” said Chris McCann, CEO and Co-Founder, Current Health. “MHH has assembled an amazing group of changemakers to inspire new policies that will enable a broader set of healthcare services to be offered in the home. We are proud to be part of this group and see it as our responsibility to facilitate the shift to a new care delivery model that we know can drive greater patient outcomes at scale.”
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) Released June 2021 Report to Congress (6/15) – On June 15, MedPAC released its June 2021 Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. Each June, as part of its mandate from Congress, MedPAC reports on issues affecting the Medicare program as well as broader changes in health care delivery and the market for health care services. The ten chapters cover Medicare Advantage, alternative payment models, private equity in Medicare, the skilled nursing facility value-based purchasing program, and more.
Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) Released June 2021 Report to Congress (6/15) – On June 15, MACPAC released its June 2021 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP, recommending that Congress take measures to address the effect of high-cost specialty drugs on state Medicaid programs and take steps that would improve access to mental health services for adults and children and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The report also contains additional topics of interest to Congress such as promoting integration of physical and behavioral health care through electronic health records (EHRs), the non-emergency transportation (NEMT) benefit in Medicaid, and state strategies for integrating care for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
Senate Finance Committee Questions Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Becerra on Medicare, Drug Costs, Home Care(6/10) – On June 10, Senate Finance Committee members raised concerns about Medicare financing, drug prices and home-based care during a hearing with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on the fiscal 2022 budget request. Both the secretary and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., underscored the importance of home-based care, and discussed how both of their fathers had passed away under home-based care. Home-based care receives bipartisan interest but some Republicans have raised concerns about the $400 billion proposal from the administration, which is referenced in the budget but not included in the cost estimates. Wyden called the issue a “game changer” and pointed to efforts he and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., have taken to include this proposal in future legislation.
Liz Fowler, Deputy Administrator at CMS and Director of the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI), Signals Support for Care in the Home (6/3) – Health Affairs held its first “Policy Spotlight” speaker series event, which featured Liz Fowler, Director of CMMI. Health Affairs interviewed Liz Fowler for this in-depth discussion on the Biden Administration’s health care plans and priorities for CMS and CMMI. Among topics discussed included advancing health equity through CMMI models to ensure more communities are reached, doubling down on the role of primary care in a high-performing health system and a focus on patient-centric models, and accelerating the shift to value-based care. Notably, Liz Fowler said a patient-focused approach “means quality measures are aligned with values like reducing mortality and functional status. It means meeting people where they are, so delivering care at home or in communities, or in the least restrictive setting possible.”
Research and Polling
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association: COVID Challenges and Adaptations Among Home-Based Primary Care Practices: Lessons for an Ongoing Pandemic From a National Survey (6/8) – Approximately 7.5 million US adults are homebound or have difficulty accessing office-based primary care. Home-based primary care (HBPC) provides such patients access to longitudinal medical care at home. The purpose of this study was to describe the challenges and adaptations by HBPC practices made during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Affairs Blog: Family Caregivers: The Unrecognized Strength Behind Hospital At Home (6/3) – The COVID-19 pandemic, like HIV/AIDS and other epidemics before it, has brought devastation and grief to millions of people. But also, like other epidemics, this one is leading to scientific advances, changes in policy and medical practice, and cultural shifts. Actions taken to meet the COVID-19 crisis can become longer-term opportunities to advance person- and family-centered care. HaH programs can enhance their patient-centered services by recognizing and responding to the needs of family caregivers. Several program developers have already begun to add family caregivers to their agendas, and there are actions program leaders should take to enhance the process.
News and Market Developments
Home Health Care News: GuideWell Announces Strategic Investment in Home-Based Primary Care Provider PopHealthCare (6/16) – Health plans — and the entities that own them — continue to invest heavily around in-home care. The latest example is GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation, which announced a new “multi-year strategic investment” in subsidiary PopHealthCare on Wednesday. The company is not disclosing the exact size of the investment. “At GuideWell, we are committed to transforming health care and finding new and better ways to provide quality, personalized and affordable health care to our members where they are,” Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of GuideWell, said in a press release.
McKnight's Senior Living: Why value-based care will work in the home (6/15) – The countless efforts to reform healthcare in the United States have been around as long as the healthcare system itself, and they’ve all essentially shared a common goal — creating order out of chaos. Pick your metaphor — a hydra-headed monster, a five-alarm fire, a runaway train — the U.S. healthcare system has taxed the imagination and the desire to improve the quality of care while reducing cost. The road to reform has been paved with the carcasses of good intentions. But in healthcare’s continuum of change, there are approaches emerging whose progress excites the possibilities for progress. Value-based care (VBC) and home-based post-acute care (PAC) and preventative care have the potential to unite around a common cause, solving for a demographic boom that threatens the health of healthcare.
Fierce Healthcare: Humana to acquire onehome in bid to expand value-based home care (6/14) – Humana will acquire One Homecare Solutions, or onehome, in a bid to grow its value-based home healthcare offerings. The insurer announced Monday that it would purchase onehome from WayPoint Capital Partners in a deal expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Financial details were not disclosed, but Humana does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on its 2021 earnings. The home health company has provided care to Humana members since 2015 and has pioneered a value-based model in both Texas and Florida. Humana said that onehome's platform brings a variety of home-based services into the fold, as well as that it serves as a care and risk manager.
Skilled Nursing News: SNFs Shouldn't Fight Rise of Home-Based Care (6/8) – Some nursing home operators may fear the push towards home-based care as direct competition, with their facilities still recovering from low occupancy rates caused by the pandemic. However, alternatives to traditional models — such as, Castell Health’s hospital-at-home program, which started in May 2020 and has admitted about 240 patients to date — have been shown to improve quality, lower costs, and boost patient satisfaction. “In our experience, our costs are about 30% cheaper than the hospital alternative and the pandemic really exploited or accelerated the hospital-at-home model. A recent study suggests that three out of five seniors prefer to receive care in their home,” Christine Lipson, director of Home Services for Castell Health, said at The Synergy Summit 2021, sponsored by Synergy HCA and SRX.
The Atlantic's Health Equity Summit June 22 (Virtual):The global coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the racial divides in health, as people of color of all ages have been shown to be more susceptible to the virus. But too many Americans of color lack access to quality care and simple routine preventive medicine. The Atlantic will explore what the health-care system is doing to improve health outcomes for all Americans across race, age, gender and sexual orientation.