July/August 2013

Home Health Addresses Clinical Care

Since CHI acquired Consolidated Health Services (CHS) in 2010, the home care services provider has been transitioning home care operations across CHI into a standardized national platform.

“Change always has challenges, but we’re able to provide CHI’s home care operations with new technologies, hands-on support, and innovative solutions for patient care, and that generates excitement that eases the transition,” said Dan Dietz, president and chief executive officer of CHS. “We’ve created a national home care service line platform with more than 3,000 employees, who provide services in more than 60 locations.”

By September, most of CHI’s home care operations will be part of the national service line: operations in CHI’s Fargo Division and at Franciscan Health System, Tacoma, WA, will be integrated at a future date.

CHI acquired CHS, which is headquartered near Cincinnati, OH, from Bethesda Inc. in September 2010. CHI and Bethesda have collaborated for more than 15 years as joint sponsors of TriHealth, which operates Good Samaritan Hospital, a CHI affiliate, in Cincinnati.

“We want everyone in CHI to know that we provide a range of post-acute care services,” said Dietz. “In addition to home care, we provide hospice care, home infusion therapy, patient transport services, and home medical equipment. As we add more local operations to the national service line, we look for opportunities to build additional capabilities in each market.”

CHS has been able to implement new technologies, such as barcode identification of home medical equipment, in some CHI markets, and to expand the use of laptop computers for point-of-care data collection. “We’ve also helped several markets implement our disease management programs to improve quality of care for patients who have congestive heart failure, diabetes and other chronic conditions,” said Dietz.

CHS has also addressed an important need under emerging models of care and payment: the need for home care that helps prevent rehospitalization of discharged patients. CHS’ Avoiding Rehospitalization through Care at Home (ARCH) program has reduced readmission rates nearly 50 percent in several markets. It can be used as a standalone program or in conjunction with hospital-based or physician practice nurse navigator or health coach program.

“This program addresses a big opportunity for improvement in the clinical side of home care,” said Dietz. “It changes the culture of home care through coaching techniques that increase patients’ participation in their own care plans. It supports reduction in rehospitalizations, ER visits and acute-care length of stay.”

For more information about CHS and the full range of services offered by CHI’s National Home Health Service Line, contact Dan Dietz.