The Importance of Data in Home Care

Geoff Meinken — Seattle

Healthcare is a dinosaur.  Margins are an asteroid.  Or an Ice Age.  Or an alien invasion.  They a force of nature which dictate change.

However you phrase it, like most markets, healthcare responds chiefly to its bottom line.  Due to a legislative phenomenon that has created split demand between passive (read: government agencies, large insurers) and active (read: patients) consumers, healthcare tends to move at a snail’s pace.  It is fair to call it a Mafioso, laggardly, pharma-driven, and categorically molasses-like. 

During the past decade, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has started to move the needle away from the antiquated ‘Fee-for-Service’ model of reimbursement for healthcare systems, towards what the industry calls ‘Value-Based Purchasing’ (VBP).  Beginning in 2016, Washington was one of several states selected by regulatory body to participate in a pilot study on the impact of pay-for-performance on patient care.  This meant that year-over-year, CMS would adjust reimbursement rates at a facility level based on performance!  (This is good news for patients aka consumers!)

What did / does this mean for Washington service providers? 

It changed the way that the state’s hospital systems began to think about information, put pressure on providers to start tracking key performance indicators, and forced them to start identifying partners whom they could trust to aid them in their newly incentivized data-driven, margin-defining performance goals.

Enter Careforce.  As the conversation within Home Care began its sluggish shift towards understanding the impact of care outcomes on cost, we changed the framework of our business.  We moved to an industry-leading EMR, Kantime, a software that armed us with the capability to track cohorts of patients across metrics that inform us of the impact of our care.  We feel like we are positioned to be more scientific than ever in identifying where we can provide value to patients, systems, and the community at-large. 

It is our goal in 2019 to better serve our patients as we celebrate our 20th year caring for the greater Seattle area.  Being able to dial into data-driven analysis, both at a patient level and at the population level, prepares us to provide the absolute best care possible, while helping us to understand how to better integrate and ingrain home care and home health services into the healthcare continuum for patients across the Puget Sound.