A bit of a slow news week gave us a chance to circle back on a recent NEJM commentary by Optum’s leadership, which laid out the key components of a futuristic home care model and the steps that Optum is taking to make it a reality.
“The vision is to unite modular point solutions around the patient to enable timely interventions and care coordination that is supported by data and technology for a seamless experience and optimized care delivery across providers and care settings.”
Sounds great, maybe a little boilerplate-ish, but the individual solutions tie it all together:
- Patient Assessments – The “pivotal first step” to identifying, engaging, and stratifying patient populations through annual in-home comprehensive clinical examinations of medical, behavioral, and social needs. Ex. Optum HouseCalls
- Care Transitions – Appropriately managing a patient’s transition from acute care facilities is essential to keeping recoveries on track, and comprehensive programs should include post-discharge engagement and 90-day follow-ups. Ex. naviHealth
- At-Home Emergent Care – At-home emergent care is convenient for patients while helping avoid readmissions, and the authors cite a 2018 hospital-at-home study demonstrating better outcomes than inpatient care. Ex. DispatchHealth
- Home-Based Medical Groups – The cherry on top of the proposed model is a call for more home-based medical groups to treat patients with chronic conditions. Services might include primary care, therapy, and dialysis. Ex. Landmark Health
Although the article was mainly intended to provide a framework for successful home care, it also gave us a great peek at Optum’s priorities. It was interesting to see the companies that the authors held up as prime examples for each solution, and it’s easy to picture each of them as potential acquisition targets considering how active Optum’s been in the M&A space.