VCU Health System and Bayada Home Health Care have unveiled a joint venture to provide home health and hospice in Richmond, Va., and surrounding communities. Set to begin accepting patients within six-to-nine months, the new company is branded as VCU Health at Home by Bayada.
The new venture represents BAYADA’s first entry into the Richmond hospice and home health market. The company already offers personal care services in that region. Bayada’s footprint extends across 22 states, including 347 locations.
“We are thrilled to partner with a mission-aligned health care leader like VCU Health as we both drive toward a future where the home is at the center of health care,” said David Baiada, CEO of Bayada Home Health Care. “We can increase access to care for a significantly growing number of seniors who want and deserve to age in place with comfort and dignity. Together with VCU Health, we will continue to transform the patient experience through compassion, excellence and reliability.”
VCU Health operates an academic medical center, a Level I trauma center and a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Through this joint venture the organization seeks to capitalize on the shifting of more health care into the home setting, particularly during COVID-19.
Bringing care to the home is a trend that began in earnest long before the pandemic, but the pace has accelerated — a boon for both patients and providers. A side effect of public anxiety about entering hospitals and facility-based care settings is that more care is moving towards the home.
The range of health care services available in the home is expanding, including new offerings such as hospital-at-home and skilled nursing-at-home programs, growing access to palliative care and rising availability of home-based primary care.
Hospice utilization is also going up. Utilization among Medicare decedents reached a record 51.6% during 2019, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC). This is up from 50.3% in 2018.
“Our mission is to provide the highest quality care to all Virginians. This mission extends beyond our hospital walls into the communities and homes of the people we serve,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System. “VCU Health at Home by BAYADA gives our patients and their loved ones peace of mind that they will receive the best of what academic health care has to offer in post-acute and palliative care in their familiar environment.”
Bayada has pursued similar arrangements elsewhere. Earlier this year, the company launched a joint venture with the Baptist Health hospital system in Florida, known as Baptist Home Health Care by Bayada.
In July 2020, Bayada Home Health Care announced it would establish a joint venture with Universal Health Services Inc. (NYSE: UHS), one of the nation’s largest hospital systems and health care providers.
The VCU relationship will adhere to a similar model.
“Our relationship with Bayada is built around quality of care, the patient experience, and improving access for our most vulnerable populations,” said Ryan Raisig, associate vice president for coordinated care and continuum integration at VCU Health. “Having our own home health and hospice care program is an incredibly important service for our patients and their loved ones.”