Post-acute company CareCentrix, headquartered in Hartford, Conn., has closed the acquisition of community-based palliative care provider Turn-Key Health for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction has it roots in a partnership the two companies pursued early in the second quarter of 2019, when they began to integrate their respective care management and predictive analytic platforms to help identify seriously ill patients who were in need of community-based palliative care.
“When we first decided to go into a partnership with Turn-Key, it’s because we recognized that there was such great demand for palliative care. We looked at the different ways that we could bring a palliative solution to bear in the market,” Melissa Carr, vice president and general manager of Home Services at CareCentrix, told Hospice News. “The partnership with a really sound provider who really had strong intellectual property within their predictive models —and some of the other tools — was really attractive for us. We recognized it would take us a lot longer to build up those capabilities internally.”
Through their 2019 partnership, the companies allowed the CareCentrix HomeBridge platform to interface with Turn-Key’s Palliative Illness Management (PIM) application. The combined system brought 200 million discharge records from the HomeBridge program into the PIM predictive analytics system to allow for speedier identification of patients in need of palliative care, focusing on those with advanced illness in the last 12 months of life.
A 2019 study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine featured Turn-Key’s work in predictive analytics, finding that the company’s palliative care program reduced the total cost of care by 20%, cut hospitalizations among their population by 33% and intensive care unit admissions by 38%.
“[The partnership] really was just for [CareCentrix] to have a palliative offering so that we weren’t left out of that marketplace. We really started working with them and saw the value of what these two organizations could do together, the exponential benefit we could provide to plans by combining what we do in our post-acute program with what Turn-Key was doing from the palliative side,” Carr said.
The use of predictive analytics systems to identify patients in need of hospice or palliative care is an emerging health care technology trend. Such systems have shown promise in boosting performance on quality measures such as registered nurse and social worker visits during the patient’s last seven days of life, as well as allowing for earlier identification of individuals who need hospice.
“One of the things that plans have really struggled with is identifying patients at the right time and not identifying that they’re appropriate for these types of services until it’s too late in their journey, and they’re on their way to hospice,” Carr said. “The beauty of what we can do between [CareCentrix and Turn-Key’s] two programs to identify patients earlier and create those really smooth transitions to provide a better patient and caregiver experience. We really felt like we needed to really be able to invest more in beyond what a partnership construct would allow.”
Nearly 90 million people in the United States are afflicted with a serious or advanced illness, a number that many expect to double during the next 25 years, according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care.
CareCentrix expects to complete the integration of Turn-Key within six months, Carr told Hospice News.
“What we truly loved is that they have a very aligned business model with what we do at CareCentrix, she said. “It was a beautiful fit from the very beginning and that made it easy to have a sales conversation.”