Upstate, VNA ‘package care’

Friday, March 28, 2014

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In the face of declining reimbursement, HME providers are finding innovative ways to provide care. For Upstate HomeCare, that means partnering with another healthcare provider and offering their combined services to hospitals.

A new preferred provider agreement allows Upstate HomeCare and VNA Homecare, a Syracuse, N.Y.-based visiting nurse and homecare service provider, to offer hospitals, in particular, a “package of care” to patients in the home.

“Nursing agencies are sister companies to us,” said Gregory LoPresti, senior vice president and CEO at Upstate HomeCare. “They do things that we cannot do or provide, and we provide things that they cannot provide, generally.”

Per the agreement, Upstate HomeCare will now provide infusion, oxygen and DME to patients of VNA Homecare.

Going forward, Upstate and VNA hope to also develop a care transition program to reduce readmission rates through a more detailed, clear assessment of a patient’s clinical status at discharge. 

“The patients are not going to go away; their needs are not going to go away,” LoPresti said. “How to provide for those needs in the current reimbursement climate is a challenge, so we have to figure out a different way.”

Combining the talents of both companies will lead to better outcomes for patients, said Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay, clinical officer and RN at VNA Homecare.

“Looking at innovative ways to take care of the community, this is kind of the map,” she said.

VNA Homecare has partnered with other organizations to provide DME, but this is the company’s first preferred provider agreement, Lazarek-LaQuay said.

“The only way, really, to care for the community is to partner and align yourself with organizations that have the same visions and value system,” she said. “That’s certainly what our goal was in seeking this out.”