Yesterday I talked about a leader in health care, Sutter Care at Home, an organization in northern California that provides both home health and hospice care. Working alongside them, providing non-clinical home care, Support For Home Health Care has developed a great deal of respect for their vision, passion and leadership.
Another company we have come to respect very much is Univita Health. We first got to know Univita at a Remington Report conference last year, when the CEO of Univita, Jean Haynes, talked about “Home-Based Care Management” for medically complex populations. The presentation was excellent and gave us some new ideas for our Geriatric Care Management services.
In talking with Jean at the conference, we learned Univita also administers long-term care insurance (LTCI) for a number of companies, including the CalPERS long-term care insurance program. We have many home care clients who have CalPERS LTCI, and that world can be quite complex for our clients / patients and even for ourselves. Jean Haynes put us in contact with the President of Insurance Administration Services and a Licensed Social Worker who is the Care Management and Intake Supervisor, who have worked closely with us to simplify the process and resolve questions for us and for our clients. Now, how ridiculous is that? 🙂 A large company that holds all the power (we do want to get paid for our care, right?) and they bend over backwards to make our lives and our clients better!
The other reason we are very high on Univita is their focus on two areas that are critical to improving health care and, hopefully, dramatically reducing the costs associated with it, especially for seniors. Those two areas are very closely related:
(1) Transitions of Care / Care Transitions and (2) Care Coordination / Geriatric Care Management: The essence of this problem is that you might view the patient or recipient of care as at the hub of a wheel. At the end of each of the spokes is a care provider, either a person or an organization: hospital, primary care physician, rehab facility, home care provider, home health nurse, social worker, …
For a medically complex senior, there are often many spokes. The problem is that the circle of the wheel is often not complete and information flow down one spoke and up the next is sporadic or non-existent. That is where care coordination (in our world, given our client / patient population, that translates to Geriatric Care Management) comes into the picture.
Medicare / Affordable Care Act / health care reform is trying to put the Primary Care Physician (PCP) in the center of the wheel, alongside the patient, making the PCP responsible for coordination of care. To put it as tactfully as I can, that ain’t gonna happen. PCPs’ caseloads will not allow it. For the information to flow, including to and from the PCP, someone really needs to carry the care coordination load.
This is a major focus for Univita – and for Support For Home Health Care – and the second reason we are huge fans of Univita Health. They get the problem – most people in health care do – and they are doing something about it.
If there are other organizations in this field you think are at the top of the leaderboard, tell us about them – write a comment!
Best wishes. Bert