(Photo by Hugh Sitton/Getty Images)
Post-acute home-based care provider onehome is partnering with Medicare Advantage company Devoted Health to expand care to the latter's members in Arizona, Ohio and San Antonio, Texas.
The goal of the partnership is to enhance care by enabling members to receive certain healthcare services in their homes, including infusion therapies, wound therapy and services that require durable medical equipment.
The idea is to avoid institutional settings, and the increased risks of infection that may come with them.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
The booming home healthcare market, accelerated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing Medicare Advantage population, is bringing companies together into partnerships to make both post-acute home care and ongoing care more accessible, so reducing the rate of hospital readmission and, oftentimes, the duration of treatment for healing.
Through a value-based, full-risk model, onehome serves more than one million patients via post-acute home care.
The U.S. home healthcare market is projected to grow 7% annually to $173 billion by 2026, as the migration from facility-centric care is motivated by the clinical and economic benefits of care in the home. Growth is further accelerated by the "silver tsunami," with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety and a widespread preference to remain at home.
onehome has also begun as Devoted Health's delegated provider for utilization management, claims and credentialing. onehome was recently approved as a licensed third-party administrator in Arizona and Ohio, and will maintain its existing TPA status in Texas.
Devoted Health is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. It launched Medicare Advantage plans in 2019.
THE LARGER TREND
While enrollment numbers are not yet available, a recent Medicare Advantage study found that, for 2021, consumers are choosing MA, not only for the telehealth benefits, but for COVID-19 supplemental benefits offered by the private plans.
Of those who decided on an MA plan because of supplemental benefits, 35% cited COVID-19 supplemental benefits specifically, while 27% cited telehealth benefits, the report said.
In a Morning Consult poll, beneficiaries reported near universal satisfaction with Medicare Advantage's coverage and provider networks, the latter being the oft-cited drawback of the plans, which have been compared to the narrow-network HMO plans of the 1980s.
Despite the apparent advantages, though, North Shore Insurance Brokers managing partner Ina Goldberg told Healthcare Finance News in January that people pay more in MA plans as they age and become sicker, and made an argument for original Medicare over Medicare Advantage.
Meanwhile, a February data brief examining offerings of both traditional supplemental benefits and Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) in Medicare Advantage from 2020 to 2021 shows that the number of health plans offering supplemental benefits is growing.
The brief, prepared by the actuarial consulting firm Milliman in conjunction with advocacy group Better Medicare Alliance, found that over the last year, the number of health plans offering supplemental benefits grew in 36 out of 41 categories measured, including 15 out of 17 traditional supplemental benefit categories, four out of five expanded supplemental benefit categories and 17 out of 19 SSBCI categories.
Benefits that are most widely offered in Medicare Advantage include vision (provided by 96% of plans), hearing (93%), fitness (92%) and dental care (87%).