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New Nonprofit Industry Association Launches to Advocate for High-Quality, Affordable Home-Based Health Care

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) today launched ElevatingHOME, a new 501(c)6 organization that brings together America’s home-based care providers to advocate for high-quality, affordable home care. ElevatingHOME will unify the myriad voices of home-based health care and reposition home-based care as the center of health care delivery.

Industry leaders say the need for a consolidated organization to advocate for home-based care is acute. With 10,000 Baby Boomers enrolling in Medicare daily, this segment of the health care industry is expected to grow more than 70 percent in the next three years—from approximately $80 billion today to $137 billion by 2020. When surveyed, 87 percent of America’s seniors say they want to stay in their own home as they age and would prefer to receive medical care at home when possible.

“Most patients—seniors, but others too—prefer to receive medical care at home when possible, but the current health care delivery system design is organized around costly and sometimes unnecessary hospital stays,” said Joseph Scopelliti, President and CEO, VNA Health System of Shamokin, Pennsylvania and Chair, ElevatingHOME Board of Directors. “When people can receive the care they need in their own homes, amidst familiar surroundings with family and friends nearby, they often have better health outcomes at lower costs.”

Introduced at this week’s 2017 Home-Based Care: National Leadership Conference in San Diego, Calif., ElevatingHOME will represent both nonprofit and for-profit home-based care providers. The Council of State Home Care Associations will also join ElevatingHOME as a founding member.

“The Council of State Home Care Associations, which has a long history of working collaboratively with many national organizations committed to advancing home health care, is very excited to work in partnership with ElevatingHOME by virtue of the unanimous vote of our Executive Committee," said Tim Rogers, Chairman, Council of State Home Care Associations and President and CEO of the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina and the South Carolina Home Care and Hospice Association.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) says there are approximately 12,350 home health agencies in the United States—more than double the number of hospitals—and nearly 4,100 hospice organizations. Even though seniors prefer to receive care in their homes, the current health care delivery system drives patients to receive care in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. Patients and caregivers find it difficult to choose home-based care due to lack of information, burdensome regulations and complicated insurance policies that make choosing home-based care more difficult for patients.

ElevatingHOME will be led by a Board of Directors consisting of leaders representing both for-profit and nonprofit home-based care agencies. In addition to Mr. Scopelliti, other founding members of the Board of Directors include: J. Mark Baiada, Founder and President, BAYADA Home Health Care, Susan Brouillette, MBA, MPH, CEO, Alacare Home Health and Hospice, Erin Denholm, RN, MSN, RWJENF, President and CEO, Trinity Health at Home, Norene Mostkoff, MBA, President and CEO, Visiting Nurse Health System, Marcia Reissig, RN, MS, CEO, Sutter Care at Home, and Bob Fazzi, EdD, Founder and Managing Partner, Fazzi Associates. Tracey Moorhead, President and CEO of VNAA, has been appointed President and CEO of ElevatingHOME.

Experts believe home-based care can play three critical roles in a redesigned health care delivery system: partnering with primary care; providing post-acute and acute care at home; and partnering with home and community-based long-term care providers. “Home-based care is carefully designed to provide care that people of all ages need – from wellness visits and chronic disease management to palliative, advanced illness and hospice care – and it is generally provided at lower costs than similar care provided in a medical institution,” said Moorhead. “Not only can home-based care services substitute for higher-cost hospital care, it can also ensure that patients who have been hospitalized do not wind up back in the hospital soon after being discharged.”

As an example, New Jersey-based BAYADA Home Health Care has focused on training its staff and creating system-wide best practices to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes around heart failure. The provider has seen an 85.9 percent decrease in hospitalizations after 30 days and significant patient outcomes in better ambulation, reduced dyspnea, and reductions in pain that restricts activity.

In the months ahead, ElevatingHOME will focus on advancing home-based care as the central and critical component of health care delivery by:

  • Demonstrating the role of home-based care in meeting patients’ health care needs at home;
  • Developing and disseminating best practices for home-based care;
  • Establishing a high standard of operational integrity;
  • Elevating the level of public, private, foundation, academic and legislative support for the patients and families served;
  • Advancing financial models to support a robust home-based care industry while delivering value along the broader health care continuum.

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