Track client hospitalizations
Hospital readmission rates are among the things providers are measured by under value-based purchasing. And some settings are measured on whether or not a patient is hospitalized within 30 days of discharge.
In the area of preventing hospital readmissions, private duty agencies are well positioned to join the ranks of supportive partners.
“One key driver behind the hospital readmission revolving door is a lack of coordination of care after discharge,” Tommasi says.
Private duty agencies help clients stay out of the hospital but providing in-home support for clients who are fall risks, have trouble with taking medications, have difficulty ambulating or need transportation to doctor appointments. And it makes sense for private duty agencies to work together with other providers to keep clients safe and out of the hospital.
“What’s great about [private duty] is that we are the lowest cost setting that can, possibly, have the highest impact,” says Mary Alice Mirek, home care director and senior manager of Well Care Home Care in Wilmington, N.C.
But it’s not enough to simply believe this is the case. Agencies must be able to support the claim.
“Value has to be supported by data. Data tells the story. Meaningful data sells the story,” Tommasi says.
With this aim in mind, Tommasi created a tool for his agency’s caregivers to use when assessing clients. Responses are collected and tracked in the office.
Based on information collected with the tool, LIFETIME Care at Home is able to provide data that shows an 11% hospital readmission rate for its clients.
While there is no existing benchmark for private duty agencies’ hospitalization rates, Medicare-skilled home health agencies nationwide had a 30-day rehospitalization rate of 15.8%, according to the January 2019 refresh of Home Health Compare.
The agency makes the case to hospitals, doctors’ offices and home health agencies that LIFETIME Care at Home can help providers protect their payment based on a proven track record of keeping patients out of the hospital.