Health care technology company WellSky, which works extensively in the hospice and post-acute care space, has inked a definitive agreement to purchase CarePort Health from its parent company Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) for the sum of $1.35 billion.
CarePort develops software platforms designed to better connect post-acute care providers with payers. The acquisition is expected to enhance WellSky’s ability to facilitate patients’ transitions from one health care setting to another through acute-care discharge process management, patient tracking across care settings, patient- and population-level analytics and electronic medical record-based protocols.
“Many of the referrals that [post-acute providers] get come from a company like CarePort that has relationships with large health systems. I think the marriage is a good one, because more and more we’re going to have way more coordination between discharging patients out of the hospital and the care settings they go into,” WellSky CEO Bill Miller told Hospice News. “Patients are getting actually discharged even faster than normal. If you think about the aging population and the rate at which we’re growing as a nation, there’s just going to be a lot more patients needing to be discharged as elegantly as they possibly can to the right care setting, whether that be home, whether that be hospice, whether that be to a rehab center. What we really loved about having CarePort is that we can apply some science to the discharge process, as opposed to just geography and convenience. I like CarePort’s vision married with our network.”
WellSky is jointly owned by two private equity firms, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, per an agreement made in July. WellSky serves more than 15,000 client sites globally.
CarePort’s EHR-agnostic solutions allow providers and payers to track and manage patients throughout the care continuum by connecting the discharge process with post-discharge care coordination. This level of visibility can help improve patient outcomes and lower costs, according to Miller.
Miller told Hospice News that he believes that WellSky’s hospice clients will benefit from the sheer volume of discharges that CarePort facilitates in terms of growing their businesses.
“Secondarily, I think if we work together we can actually find patients where hospice suitability is really a function of our analytics, where we’re really applying hospice care at the right time. Our hospice clients are very much going to benefit from this,” Miller said.
Data analytics is becoming increasingly important as hospices move gradually closer to working in value-based payment environments, particularly with the advent of Primary Care First and the value-based insurance design demonstration project, commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, coming in 2021.
Hospice providers are using analytics to identify patients in need of end-of-life or palliative care services earlier in the course of their illnesses and to track outcomes. These types of data will also be important when hospices begin to negotiate rates with private payers.
“As part of the WellSky team, we will be able to accelerate our mission to connect providers across the continuum. Both of our organizations are aligned in our dedication to proactively bridging gaps in care. Together, we have the technology, analytics, and network to ensure that patients receive seamless care,” said Lissy Hu, CEO of CarePort. “Joining WellSky means that we can increase vital connections between acute, post-acute, and community care providers to make a meaningful difference in the lives of more patients in more places.”