Help at Home has launched a new care model branded as HealthyMATCH, an acronym for More Access to Care at Home to Improve Your Health. The program is beginning in the Indiana and Pennsylvania markets. In addition to infusing new elements into the company’s approach to home health care, Help at Home clinicians will be assessing and educating patients who may soon be eligible for hospice or palliative care.
HealthyMATCH aims to reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits among the company’s patients. Through this program, clinicians will gather feedback from caregivers to identify their patients’ needs and intervene as early as possible. These caregivers spend 17-hours-per-week with their patients in the home.
“While this is not a hospice or palliative care program, if one of our RN/Social Worker teams identifies a client who appears hospice or palliative care appropriate, they will communicate that assessment to the client’s primary care physician so that appropriate services can be ordered,” Stephen Friedhoff, M.D., chief clinical officer for Help at Home, told Hospice News. “They will also educate the client as needed as to the nature of these programs and potential benefits.”
Fear, misperceptions and lack of awareness are significant barriers that stand between many patients and hospice or palliative care. Hospice providers nationwide are seeking and developing strategies for engaging with patients earlier in the course of their illness, as many patients come into hospice too late to reap the full benefit of those services. One such strategy is to encourage early conversations about health care goals and wishes and to educate patients and families.
Help at Home’s assessments could help patients enter hospice earlier in the course of their illnesses, or help them connect with palliative care providers.
As many as 71% of people in the United States have little to no understanding of what palliative care is, including many clinicians in a position to refer patients to palliative care or hospice, according to a Journal of Palliative Medicine study.
This data collected from caregivers focus on considerations such as social isolation, fall risk, medication management, depression, malnutrition and other factors that could send a patient to the hospital. Clinicians then assess the patients using established clinical tools. Some of these tools are proprietary, while others are widely used in health care. Clinicians then develop an action plan to address those issues and help patients remain in their homes.
“The launch of HealthyMATCH is industry-leading and speaks to the vision of our company, building another layer of quality to the care that Help at Home can uniquely provide,” said Help at Home CEO Chris Hocevar. “This program enables our caregivers to identify changes that lead to care interventions, and helps to keep clients out of the hospital or long-term care facility.”