Well being Plan Executives Hardly ever Focus on House Care Fashions: Survey

A new survey shows that nearly two-thirds of leaders rarely meet to discuss home care, and just 38% say their organization scores “very well” when it comes to increasing members’ use of home care services support.

Poor communication and coordination between different stakeholders, late services and lower member satisfaction are just a few of the challenges faced by the implementation of home care health plans.

The survey, published by Integrated Home Care Services (IHCS) and Sage Growth Partners, includes responses from 47 health plan leaders. Some of the findings left IHCS executives confused.

“About 72% of respondents say that strategic reasons were a major reason for moving care to an institutional setting, but two-thirds say they rarely meet and discuss that care,” said Paul Pino, Chief Development and Analytics Officer at IHCS Home Health Care News. “These two are almost diametrically opposed. There’s a breakup that really got us scratching our heads.”

Source: IHCS

Integrated Home Care Services provides home care to more than 2.2 million patients through partnerships with health plans and risk-taking providers.

The Company is an independent home care benefits manager offering a value-based home care model for managed care organizations.

While Pino is encouraged that health plan leaders recognize the growing demand for home care, there is still work to be done when it comes to dedicating time and resources to home care.

Over the past five years, 91% of health plan leaders in the survey said the use of home care services has increased.

However, a majority (60%) said they were “moderately” in favor of members’ use of home care.

If those leaders know there is a need, it would be a more relevant conversation, Pino continued. About the same number of executives, almost two-thirds, said they rarely talk about home care.

“You would expect that if they rarely get together to talk about it, they probably don’t have opinions when it comes to home care,” Pino said. “But they know it’s a problem, it just wasn’t a focus.”

Pino thinks the COVID-19 pandemic has something to do with it. Health plan leaders have been so focused and engaged with some of the institutional components of care that home care has not been a priority, he said.

Those responsible for health insurance companies have also recognized that the costs of home care have increased: 96% of those surveyed stated that the costs of home care had increased in the last five years. Of these, over 25% indicated that costs had increased by more than 10%.

This trend could continue in the coming years.

“There is a current understanding in healthcare that there is a finite amount that you can squeeze out,” Pino said. “You won’t see significant profitability if you overcharge the lowest cost provider. If you look at a usage trend and look at the total cost per patient and if you compare home care to SNF, on average per patient, SNF has an average of 200% more reimbursement than home care would.”

Home health and home care should see modest increases in costs, Pino said, especially when it comes to managed care.

Strategy and optimization of homecare remain hurdles for these executives as well. Of the 47 executives surveyed, only 36% said they were “very competent” in assessing the impact of homecare on overall costs.

While these results are somewhat surprising, they also validate companies like IHCS that can help bridge the gap between healthcare plans and home care.

“The trends that we’re seeing, not just from a usage perspective but from a cost perspective, continue to grow,” Josh Holmes, senior vice president of business development at IHCS, told HHCN. “The opportunity for a home care benefit and administrator to work with these populations on behalf of a health plan could not be better.”

Comments are closed.