St. Louis-based hospice, home health and palliative care provider Nurses & Company, Inc. has finalized a transaction with home health organization Home Assist, LLC, through which the company will absorb most of Home Assist’s staff, customer relationships and chronic disease care programs. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Home Assist is expected to cease operations in the coming months.
The transferred programs include those designed to manage patients who have diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure.
“We will provide a patient roadmap for specific disease management,” Nurses & Company Executive Director Angela Sipe told Hospice News. “There is a focus on the transition of care focusing on high-risk patients at risk for re-hospitalization. Ultimately our goal is to improve patient quality of life by providing information, resources and tools needed to manage their conditions at home.”
Nurses & Company expects that the transaction will provide a significant boost to their hospice patient census as well as increase their home health patient census by approximately 30%. Hospice gains will be realized through transitioning former Home Assist patients into hospice when appropriate. Home Assist did not offer hospice services.
Nurses & Company hasn’t indicated the number of Home Assist staff that will be joining their workforce as the interview process is ongoing.
Nurses & Company is incorporating data from Home Assist’s former patients into algorithms designed to help reduce hospital re-admissions and emergency department visits. Metrics included in the algorithms include the overall number of home visits, patient visits within 24 hours of discharge, as well as telemedicine checks to help patients recognize symptoms through daily self-assessments including medication review and education.
“Predicting the transition phase so that families can better prepare for these changes can alleviate a great deal of stress and worry on the patient and family. While we can’t determine the exact timing of death, we can be better prepared when each stage presents itself,” Sipe said. “The algorithm we will start introducing will help us be more precise. We will focus on educating and preparing the family for what to expect as we start to see these changes occur. We use a teach-back method to ensure patient comprehension and compliance. Our process is strong on “call your nurse first,” so we can help troubleshoot any number of concerns or issues. No one wants to return to the hospital, and we help reduce that risk.”