AdvaCare cuts costs for payers, hospitals

Friday, April 24, 2015

PITTSBURGH – AdvaCare Home Services aims to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes with its new Patient Partner Program. 

“It’s a comprehensive assessment of our patients,” said Tammy Zelenko, president of the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based HME and respiratory services company.

The program, which bridges patient treatment from the hospital to home, was created based on five pillars: customized clinical care, clinical respiratory programs, technology and innovation, and outcomes and reporting.

By managing patients more efficiently in their homes, and sharing patient outcomes and feedback from in-home visits with healthcare providers, AdvaCare can save hospitals and payers money. 

“Not only do we want to be the eyes and ears for the patient and caregiver, but we also want to be that healthcare team,” said Zelenko.

This could mean contacting Meals On Wheels, delivering updates to physicians and sleep labs, or notifying healthcare professionals when they can’t get in touch with a patient.

One less visit to the hospital or the emergency room could mean significant savings for hospitals, which get penalized if a patient is readmitted within 30 days for the same diagnosis, says Zelenko.

The other key is to reduce redundancy whenever possible. AdvaCare recently met with a nursing agency to discuss a COPD patient’s individualized care plan. 

“It was amazing how many touch points this patient had within 30 days,” said Zelenko. “Was it all necessary? Probably not. We could have reduced some of those visits or calls and still had the same outcome.”

Thanks to the program, the company is already seeing an increase in referrals.

AdvaCare’s advice to other providers? Know your patients.

Without individualized care programs or outcome reports, providers can’t evaluate their performance and may miss opportunities for improvement, says Zelenko.

“I know how many readmits I had for COPD last week,” she said. “Other providers can’t say who was non-compliant yesterday on their CPAP and bi-level machines. I can.”