Updated: Aug 7
By Joseph Ebberwein, CFO, Corstrata
The year of 2021 marks a brand new wave of @Home Models. In such a short period of time, an industry that so many of us know and love, dedicated to serving patients in their homes, is now a crowded place! Large health systems are investing in new tech-enabled services that move care in and out of the home, at will, for complex patients with multiple co-morbidities.
So, what’s driving this “new” focus? And, what is the likely impact on the post-acute and home-based healthcare marketplace?
With guarded enthusiasm, I’d say it’s long overdue attention on such an incredibly important place for services to be offered. The @Home Models target ever more chronic and acute patient conditions. It means that Providers must take further steps to ensure quality associated with high-risk patients in the home for Skin Health, Wounds, and Ostomies.
@Home Models will create a key focus on care for vulnerable populations! Everyone has heard for years the passion that Corstrata has for Skin Health, Wounds, and Ostomy care, and we believe we are making great strides in solving the critical challenges for patients being served in the home. In fact, we have come out of the year of COVID with incredible data!
Skin Health challenges. In the U.S. there are 7 million persons living with a wound and one million living with an ostomy. There are 30% of persons cared for in post-acute with a wound, often as a result of disease states such as Diabetes. The increasing incidence of Diabetes will lead to an epidemic of Diabetes-related wounds, such as Diabetic Foot Ulcers which often lead to life-limiting amputations if not properly prevented or cared for. Other significant, and often preventable, wounds include pressure injuries, lower extremity vascular wounds, and complex palliative and end-of-life wounds.
Care Protocols. It is critical that providers take an aggressive approach for wound healing to avoid an acute wound becoming chronic. This is best accomplished through the development of a patient-centered, evidence-based care plan using the most advanced modalities (compression, NPWT- Negative Pressure Wound Therapy) as well as the latest advanced dressings including “smart dressings” that are indicated for longer wear time and advanced symptom management.
Staffing optimization. Given the fact that only 10% of all board-certified wound and ostomy nurses practice outside of the acute care or outpatient wound clinic settings, access to specialists is critical. This cannot possibly be accomplished without using technology - think of the virtual use of a distributed workforce in the evolution of Teleradiologists, a very similar opportunity for wound and ostomy nurse experts.
Formulary utilization. There have been amazing advances in advanced dressings available for the care of complex wounds, from antimicrobials to those which handle heavy exudate for longer wear time.
Pre-admission and Admission Preparedness. As in many healthcare situations, lack of coordinated care across provider settings leads to barriers to care, inefficiencies, and higher costs of care. Care coordination regarding a patient’s wound is essential as models of care migrate from fee-for-service to value-based with a focus on outcomes. Corstrata has developed protocols that ensure accurate identification of wound etiology at admission as well as protocols that promote coordinated care between providers such as outpatient wound care centers, home health agencies, hospices, and skilled nursing facilities.
But, there is so much more to do! Even with all of that progress, we have only touched a small number of patients in the USA that require services. As the new @Home Models begin to take formation around the legacy of Home Health and Hospice payment systems, there is new excitement for these opportunities.
Institutions are mobilizing new technologies and service teams, outsourcing for the gaps, and identifying the right patient criteria to enter the program. Yes, it’s exciting! And, as Corstrata has worked to ever mature a model of virtualization for the Wound and Ostomy consultation with providers and patients, it means we are offered new opportunities in Skin Health.
Contact Us to learn more about how Corstrata can assist you with optimizing your program.