Cardinal Health builds post-acute care position

Friday, October 9, 2015

DUBLIN, Ohio – Cardinal Health’s recent $290 million acquisition of a majority stake in naviHealth allows the company to bring more than medical surgical products and services to the table for health systems, says Michael Petras.

Using proprietary tools, Brentwood, Tenn.-based naviHealth makes an assessment on the site of care, the length of stay and the therapy that a patient should receive in a post-acute care setting.

“We see this as part of building a post-acute care position for Cardinal Health,” said Petras, president of Cardinal Health at Home, formerly AssuraMed, who now oversees naviHealth.

AssuraMed, which Cardinal Health acquired in 2013, provides diabetes and other supplies direct to consumer through Edgepark Medical Supply and to providers through Independence Medical Supply.

With naviHealth, Cardinal Health can better position health systems that are taking on more and more of the burden under bundled payments and other CMS initiatives to shift cost and care, Petras says.

“It gives us a seat at the table with system CEOs to discuss the issues they’re dealing with today and how we can help,” he said.

Cardinal Health sees CMS initiatives like tying 50% of payments to alternative payment models by 2018 as a mandate to change business as usual, Petras says.

“That’s big,” he said.

HME providers need to take a similar stance to the changes in reimbursement that are afoot, Petras says.

“Over time, we think HME could be part of these bundles,” he said. “The good and bad news is that HME is a pretty small part of the spend.”

Expect more in this vein to come from $103 billion Cardinal Health, Petras says.

“We want to be a significant player in post acute and transitioning payments along the care continuum,” he said. “I see us looking to build out more service capability in this area.”