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Two Florida healthcare providers have joined forces in an effort to improve access to post-acute home care for those living in Polk County.
Effective December 1, 2021, Lakeland Regional Health purchased a minority interest in BayCare HomeCare. In Polk County, BayCare HomeCare services will be known as BayCare HomeCare/Lakeland Regional Health.
The two nonprofit organizations touted the potential benefits of this type of care coordination, including improved patient communications, reduced readmission rates and more effective discharge planning.
Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO Danielle Drummond said the two organizations can improve care delivery at a much faster pace by working together, and that the collaboration will streamline the transition from hospital to home healthcare.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
BayCare HomeCare has provided in-home care and support services for decades, including serving many patients in the Lakeland community upon their discharge from the hospital. It’s one of the largest providers of home care services in Florida, serving 13 counties along the state’s west coast.
BayCare is also in the top quartile in the country for quality and safety, and according to the organization, has been able to dramatically reduce readmissions through a variety of approaches, such as remote monitoring of patients.
In addition to Lakeland Regional Health, Community Health Corporation – a related entity to Sarasota Memorial Hospital – also owns a minority interest in BayCare HomeCare.
The new relationship between Lakeland Regional Health and BayCare HomeCare includes in-home services. These services include home health, video supported remote monitoring, respiratory equipment and support, durable medical equipment and home infusion service.
THE LARGER TREND
A number of organizations have joined forces to advance home health initiatives. In November 2021, Jefferson Health and Bayada Home Health Care announced a joint venture for post-acute care at home for Jefferson patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Preliminarily referred to as “Jefferson Health at Home,” the joint venture will leverage the employees of both organizations for healthcare services delivered at home. There will be an emphasis on care transitions and access to in-home and virtual care.
A month earlier, Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System said it was gearing up to offer hospital-level care in the home setting thanks to a new partnership with Contessa.
The partnership will offer a number of home healthcare options, including acute care services, skilled nursing care and palliative care.
At-home hospital care has become more popular ever since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued pandemic-related flexibilities for a number of health systems.
Since then, Humana announced plans to acquire One Homecare Solutions, or onehome, in an effort to grow its presence in the value-based home healthcare space. That followed the insurer’s move to purchase the remaining share of Kindred at Home.
Additionally, both Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente utilize Medically Home Group’s at-home acute care services. The two health systems invested $100 million in the company earlier this year.
ON THE RECORD
“We are excited to join with BayCare HomeCare in Polk County to expand and strengthen access to post-acute care within our community,” said Drummond. “Patients will greatly benefit from this arrangement as it will improve and streamline the transition from hospital to home health care. By working with BayCare HomeCare for these services, we believe we can improve care delivery at a much faster pace than by pursuing on our own.”