Hospice Collaboratives Form Nationwide Joint Venture

Teleios Collaborative Network (TCN) and the National Hospice Cooperative (NHC) have created a joint venture that promises to further scale their regional partnership model to nonprofit hospices nationwide.

TCN and NHC are collaborative networks of affiliated hospice and palliative care providers that partner to share best practices, centralize some back office functions, build more efficient processes and leverage their collective size to better position themselves for negotiations with payers.

Eleven members in five states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas currently comprise TCN’s membership. 

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“We were looking to form a partnership that will allow NHC to reach and assist not for profit hospices around the country,” said NHC President Jeff Lycan. “TCN was a natural partner who shares our passion for ensuring all communities will have access to exceptional end of life care.”

Ohio’s Hospice, a statewide group of nonprofits, established NHC in late 2019 to help take its regional collaborative model nationwide. Regional partnerships such as Ohio’s Hospice are designed to help non-profit hospice organizations compete with for-profit entities that during the past decade have come to dominate the hospice market. Last year, four hospices in Oregon formed a similar group, the Oregon Nonprofit Hospice Alliance. Also in 2019, a non-profit partnership sprung up in California.

“While TCN has a different model for its members, our goals, values and mission are completely aligned with NHC. The TCN team has exceptional expertise with robust leadership tools and systems; so, NHC is a perfect fit for a partnership,” said Chris Comeaux, president and CEO of TCN.

The advent of regional and national nonprofit collaboratives is driven to a large extent by the hospice and palliative industry’s gradual migration towards value-based payment models. The value-based insurance design model hospice demonstration, commonly called the Medicare Advantage carve-in, is set to begin Jan. 1, 2021.

Hospices that participate in the carve-in will have to negotiate payment rates with private Medicare Advantage plans, which often lean towards larger providers that can cover a larger geographic area. The demonstration, according to CMS, is intended to increase access to hospice services and facilitate better coordination between patients’ hospice providers and their other clinicians.

Dallas-Fort Worth-based hospice provider Community Healthcare of Texas has become the first member of the new TCN-NHC joint venture.

“Community Healthcare of Texas is extremely thrilled to be the first to forge this type of unique cross functional partnership. From our standpoint we are getting the best of both companies,” said Viki Jingle, CEO, Community Healthcare of Texas. “Both entities are bringing needed resources and talents, that we could not afford independently. I believe these types of partnerships will allow many other non-profit hospices to survive and thrive long into the future.”

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