Establishing a trusted referral partnership can be challenging. When it comes to finding the right home health partner, what should providers look for?
As healthcare moves more towards managed care and value-based models, referrals are critical to ensuring that patients are cared for at various stages of need. Referral partners in home health care can be incredibly valuable to any healthcare provider, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, or primary care providers (PCP), for their highly-focused expertise and access to additional support.
The right home health partner should feel like an extension of their network’s care team, expanding care services and improving visibility into the patient’s health at home. Below are five helpful tips for choosing the right home health care referral partner:
The Right Referral Partner Streamlines Patient Transitions
As patients transition from hospital to home, it’s imperative that physicians, any necessary community partners, and the home health care provider communicate information regarding their patients’ discharge and care plans. The home health team facilitates the continued involvement of all necessary community partners as the patient moves to different levels of care. Primary care physicians rely on expert oversight and communication from the home health team, especially when an intervention—such as adjusting medication—is required of the physician. The best patient outcomes occur when the healthcare providers, community partners, and home care teams work hand-in-hand, with open and consistent communication.
At Constellation, discharge planning starts immediately upon receipt of the referral. We begin conversations with family members and caregivers as soon as possible, allowing us to identify barriers to a safe transition ahead of time. On top of this, we make sure patients have the right resources to avoid hospitalization once transitioned, even setting up visits with a primary care physician, if a patient doesn’t have one.
The Right Referral Partner Provides Technological Support
As an extension of primary care, highly rated home health care agencies provide technology that connects the patient to both the home health and primary care teams. Remote patient monitoring, for example, can track the patient’s condition and communicates vital statistics and data to both teams. Access to real-time data is critical for care teams to make decisions and ultimately reduce hospital readmissions.
The Right Referral Partner Nurtures the Relationship
The right referral partnership should be symbiotic. Each partner respects and values the expertise and extension of the other’s emotional, behavioral, and clinical support. Establishing a relationship with a referral partner through transparency and good communication can lay the groundwork for a beneficial, long-term partnership. Make certain that you vet prospective home health care agencies by researching their CMS quality scores, reviewing testimonials, and making note of whether the company’s values are obvious on their website. Is there language around their relationships with partners and patients? Do you align with what is being said?
In the end, the right referral partner should be hyper-focused on working with you to ensure the health of your patients is the No. 1 priority and the common goal is to achieve quality patient experiences.
Find out about partnership opportunities with Constellation.
Constellation Health Services is an award-winning, value-based home health care agency serving the Northeast. At Constellation, our goal is to provide a comprehensive stay-at-home health solution for your patients that includes a team of trained professionals, a suite of technology services, and coordination of in-home diagnostic and delivery services. We help partners achieve an average savings of 10% by avoiding rehospitalization penalties and reducing nursing home utilization and length-of-stay. Learn more.