Long before COVID-19, most people said they preferred to age in place. Today, many are hoping that more health care shifts into the home.  

A new report by CareCentrix finds that nearly 75 percent of respondents prefer to recover at home instead of a medical facility following a serious health event. Additionally, nearly 70 percent said they prefer to get health care at home when other options include a trip to the doctor’s office, hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

Health Plans Need “Boots on the Ground”

Health plans say they are ready to get on board with home-based care. Nearly all payers agree that more care at home is better for insurers and their members, and more cost-effective in the long term. 

To be successful, they need partners that can control costs and reach members wherever they’re located.

Plans need to be willing to put some money forward to get the partnerships rolling.

“The key will be to unlock data that indicates that providers can proactively keep people safe and well-cared for in their homes and communities, and take care of people away from emergency rooms and hospital visits,” said Ashish V. Shah, Dina’s CEO. 

His advice: look for partners who can drive a better experience and outcomes—and boost star ratings in the process.

3 Ways to Open the Door

Here are three ways for health plans to open the door to in-home care: 

  1. Build a “boots on the ground” network. You’ll likely need a cohort of qualified, local providers to meet your capacity needs. 
  2. Find partners who will be an extension of the organization. They can explain benefits, perform other types of value-added assessments to manage costs and quality, and coordinate social determinant services. 
  3. Invest in relationships. To really ignite this, be prepared to invest capital in setup and other startup costs, as most home care providers run lean with high staff turnover. Don’t be surprised if you can’t immediately execute at scale. Instead, be willing to put some money forward to get partnerships rolling. Backed by an initial boost of capital, this can be a win-win for everyone involved, including patients.

“The payer industry is acknowledging what home care providers have long known: it is possible to reduce costs and improve the quality of care by offering a range of services to support care delivery in the home,” said Shah.

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