Ascension bundles post-acute care services

'With DME and home infusion, in particular, we see those two areas as significant opportunities for us to grow,’ says new exec
 - 
Friday, September 20, 2019

ST. LOUIS – Home health care is the only industry Danny Stricker knows. So it’s fitting that Stricker, who has previously worked as a home health aide and who has held a number of nursing home administrator positions, was recently named president of Ascension Living’s new Post-Acute Care Division. The new division marries the company’s independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and short-term rehab services with its home health, hospice, palliative care, home infusion and HME services.

“We know that older adults and people, in general, want to receive care within their homes,” he said. “So we are highly supportive of that and actively working on ways to enhance the home as a predominant site of care.”

Stricker spoke with HME News recently about what can be done to help people stay in their homes.

HME News: Where does Ascension see opportunities to improve the patient experience through its new division?

Danny Stricker: It’s one thing to say (you support aging in the home), and it’s another thing to actually put systems, structures and resources in place to actively work on improving the experience of those we serve. Many times we find that it could be as simple as (a lack of) DME coordination that prohibits somebody from going home right out of the hospital so they’ll go into facility-based care. With DME and home infusion, in particular, we see those two areas as significant opportunities for us to grow.

HME: What else needs to be considered when caring for patients in the home?

Stricker: In addition to the care delivery side of staying at home, where we see a lot of opportunity is addressing the social determinants of health within the home. So, how do we ensure that when people are in the home that they have regular access to food, to transportation, to care coordination, to appointment coordination? What are other ancillary support services that they need within their home to be successful?

HME: Does Ascension see effecting policy as an important part of its role?

Stricker: Absolutely. There are a lot of unknowns in this journey as it relates to potential policies that may or may not help Medicare beneficiaries receive the care and services they need in the home. We continue to work with policymakers and other constituents to find ways to make that happen. We’re still in the middle of putting this division together. We want to effect policy and to work with payer partners to include services through contracts to make sure that people are getting additional benefits to stay home successfully.