Individuals who require health care in-home typically have to deal with multiple companies, in a process that can be complex and inefficient.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is addressing that issue by combining multiple areas of home health care under the banner of a single program.
"Healthcare@Home" will provide patients with access to home health services, infusion and nutrition therapy, medical equipment and hospice and palliative care, according to Dr. Brian Holzer, senior vice president of home and community services at AHN.
All patients who need to be treated at home, with the exception of young children, are eligible for the program, which operates on a physician referral system. AHN’s Transitional Care Coordinators team will make arrangements for registered nurses to provide the services the patient requires in their home.
Holzer said that the program was made possible through partnerships with health care organizations Celtic Healthcare and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“When we started this [home health care] journey, we didn’t have the services required actually to deliver on this promise,” he said. “We did a number of deals in the community to acquire company’s services and leadership to allow us to deliver these set of services.”
Holzer said there are hundreds of companies in Pennsylvania that offer home health services, therapy or medical equipment, but very few offer all those services.
“What we’ve done is take out all the complexity that exists when multiple companies are delivering just a portion of a service,” Holzer said. “We now offer a sort of one-stop shop for our patients and their families.”
He added that hospitals are more often called upon to look after their patients, even after they are discharged from the hospital—a newer trend in American health care.
“This isn’t something that was always the case,” Holzer said.
Not only do home health services provide convenient medical care for patients, but also create a strong bond between practitioner and patient.
“If you think about it, we’re in patients’ homes, we’re treating them in the comfort of their homes with their families,” Holzer said. “There’s a deep connection that we’re able to achieve if we do this correctly.”