The nonprofit health plan CareSource has signed a definitive agreement to partner with Radiant Alliance, a new entity formed by Metta Healthcare and United Church Homes.
The creation and subsequent partnership with Radiant Alliance will bring a hospice and palliative care company and senior living operator under the auspices of a payer. The transaction will give CareSource a larger foothold in the provider space, building up its capabilities as it pursues national expansion.
“For years, the industry has talked about the incredible benefits of bringing together the critical capabilities of housing, provider and payer to drive better life outcomes for members,” Erhardt Preitauer, president and CEO of CareSource, said in a statement. “We are the first to actually do it.”
Metta Healthcare is the parent company of Ohio’s Hospice and the palliative care provider Pure Healthcare. Ohio’s Hospice is a statewide alliance of nonprofit providers established in 2013. The network leverages its member organizations’ collective size in negotiations with vendors, payers and referral sources, collaborates on back-office functions and shares some expenses and infrastructure.
The deal is not a traditional merger or acquisition, and no money is changing hands. Radiant Alliance, Metta Healthcare and United Church Homes will remain independent companies within CareSource.
“United Church Holmes will continue to operate as its own separate legal entity and will certainly be a partner with CareSource and a member of their family of companies. So we have kind of the best of both worlds,” Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, told Hospice News. “Now we have access to capital, to technology, to the expertise of CareSource that will help us grow mutually in our collaborative efforts as well as individually with [United Church Home’s] initiatives.”
The Radiant Alliance deal builds upon existing relationships among these entities.
The Metta affiliate Ohio’s Hospice recently established a partnership United Church Homes to expand hospice and palliative care options for its residents. Branded as Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes, it provides care in more than three communities across the senior living company’s footprint.
The United Church Homes partnership also includes Pure Healthcare, Metta’s palliative care and supportive services affiliate, established in 2020.
United Church Homes is the 22nd largest multisite, nonprofit senior living organization in the United States, according to the 2022 LeadingAge Ziegler 200 ranking, serving nearly 7,000 residents in more than 90 communities in 15 states and two Native American nations.
Recently, Pure Healthcare began collaborating with CareSource to develop a new care management model designed to support chronically ill patients.
The initial rollout covers a 12-county region in southwest Ohio, but the organizations plan to expand statewide and beyond, Anthony Evans, president of Pure Healthcare, told Hospice News.
These collaborations have already demonstrated “significant value,” CareSource indicated in a press release, particularly for beneficiaries who have complex health needs.
The decision for these three organizations to formally join forces was driven in part by broader changes in the health care system, including the growing presence of large payers in the provider space.
In this environment, many nonprofits will also have to combine in order to remain competitive.
“In part because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, health care is undergoing transformational change,” Kent Anderson, CEO of Ohio’s Hospice, said in a statement. “Creating a partnership with CareSource enhances our ability as a health care provider to serve more patients and more communities while ensuring a positive economic impact of the communities we are privileged to serve.”
Each of the entities in this partnership is also working to identify synergies — efforts they can pursue as well as economies of scale, according to Daniel.
Among the partnership’s early initiatives is a program called Naviguide, a care coordination program in which providers work with clients or their adult children to develop comprehensive community support to enable them to continue aging in place, Daniel indicated.
This includes bolstering the organization’s capabilities in the home setting.
“We have strength developing in home-targeted services, non-clinical personal care, home support, as well as a new program that we’re calling Naviguide,” Daniel said. “We’re acquiring licensed skilled and skilled home care agencies that are coming online. The Naviguide has just mushroomed. That’s also begun to get a lot of attention from employers who are seeing Naviguide as a potential employee benefit to help in those cases where employees are trying to manage the needs of their aging parents, oftentimes at a distance.”