Partnering with health systems and physician groups has become a cornerstone of AccentCare’s growth strategy as it seeks to expand the breadth of its post-acute care services.
Collaborations and join ventures are becoming more common in the hospice space as providers seek to reach patients, diversify services and reduce staffing shortages by pooling resources.
AccentCare has been building partnerships like these for years, but they will become a growing priority in 2023.
Dallas-headquartered AccentCare is a portfolio company of private equity firm Advent International, offering hospice, palliative care, personal care, non-medical services, home health, care management and high-acuity home care. The company operates more than 260 locations in 31 states, caring for 210,000 patients and families annually.
In December 2020, the company merged with Illinois-based Seasons Hospice & Palliative; It has consolidated this subsidiary along with six others under the main brand of the company.
Hospice News spoke with Accenture’s Stephen Rodgers at the Home Care 100 conference in Orlando, Florida, about the company’s partnership strategies, expansion across the continuum of care and the M&A outlook for 2023.
What’s coming next for Accenture to drive growth, clinical innovation or your continuum of care?
We’re very focused on care continuity. We strongly believe in overlap within the market. We’ve been very successful over the past year, continuing to bring in both new hospices and renewed personal attendant services. I think we have above six [certificates of need (CON)] which was approved over the past year in Washington state and Florida, two major regions, as well as in Washington, D.C.
We actually just got approved for a de novo home health care asset in Washington, DC. Then over the course of this past year, we created roughly about 14 to 15 de novo private-pay personal care properties.
We have a priority set of markets that we want to look at where our home care and hospice assets sit within that market, whether we have both of those, and then we’ll focus on private pay [personal care locations] To get that continuity out there. He will continue. We have a lot of territory to cover as we’re doing this, but I think we’ve been very successful.
We’ll continue to do so over the course of the next year and a few years.
We will be continually looking for what I call other ancillary services to bring into the house. Other things that once again help patients and their families as they enter this period of life is how we can be an intermediary or a trusted guide around certain services. We can bring in that care and really get away with a lot of the personal attendant services that we have.
Because that’s the service where you get the call: “What do I have to do to keep mom at home?” So right there we’re adding some of these other services and then making sure that we have home health and hospice business.
AccentCare has prior partnerships with the Hospital-at-Home service [U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)] Exemptions a few years back, and some discussions of moving some of that forward are in the works. Can you talk about your high acuity strategies in house and the potential collaboration between those teams and your hospice?
It is very interesting indeed. We have palliative care and a very important palliative care practice. We have seen other physicians as well, so the biggest limiter for high acuity patients in the home is professional services.
There are many services that we can do, but we need physicians and others who can effectively follow these patients so that we can really execute these strategies and get the effects that we want. Huh. So we really watch and are very focused in the markets.
For example, if we have a joint venture partnership, we’re very focused on working with them around the ecosystem, which should be designed to cover on-demand, high-acuity patients in the community. need to be kept together. Failing to do so, those patients will most likely end up back in the ER and back on the floor.
That’s why we will work with partners like Christiana Care. What is the immediate care strategy associated with it? What is the palliative care strategy associated with it? What are other types of on-demand doctor strategies? What are the hospital-at-home strategies involved? It’s all those services and then how we support it with our in-house services to make it possible. That whole thing that needs work to do, right?
So what’s exciting about the partnerships that we have is that we’re working with them. So is this continued expansion, we actually had expansion of hospital-at-home activity [University of California-San Diego] Last year. We’re in some exploratory stages with Christiana Care on how we create better consistency like this across the board.
We’ve done this with some of the delegated physician practices out there. They are bringing physician services to the table. This is another one that helps us support these strategies in exactly the same way.
So last year, you called the Seasons merger transformational for AccentCare. What kind of companies are you eyeing going forward? And what would you say is the larger strategy when it comes to these transactions?
Our focus right now and where we see most of our activity continues to be expansion on joint venture strategy. Really taking hospital-based assets and transforming those assets and creating partnerships is changing the markets for us — and creating the right scale and kind of partnerships.
It really builds a good, sustainable business within it. We have a large home health business. We have a large hospice, and we have a large personal attendant business. We are in 31 states. We’re really looking at how do we really build those anchor partnerships with these large health systems that basically allow us to drive sustainable growth in those markets, but do it in a way that we Really feel that we can provide the best care.
We think we provide the best care when we’re in partnership with the health system, because it’s us working together on what should happen for these patients, not just post-acute, but we’re really How do I move upward whether they’re in the hospital to get a clean transition and get a broad, value-based impact type of support.
We have states to fill. But if you look at it now, we have 10 of the top 10 in the country have Medicare savings accounts (MSAs). We’re in a lot of places with Medicare populations, so we’re very focused on these partnerships now.