A Los Angeles-based health system is teaming up with a home care provider to give patients an easier path in their pursuit of aging in place.
PIH Health announced Thursday it is teaming up with 24 Hour Home Care and adding a customized service called “PIH Health at Home.” The offering will include personal care, light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, respite care and companionship for PIH Health’s patients throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
The partnership reflects the growing focus on aging in place and preventative care, with non-medical home care services acting as a complement to more advanced care when necessary.
Tom Sowers is the senior director of admissions with 24 Hour Home Care. Sowers told Home Health Care News the new partnership is emblematic of the shift the industry is seeing, as more adults want to stay at home as opposed to residential facilities.
It also reflects the overarching shift toward value-based care, he added.
“As the industry transforms, we’re trying to lean into more value-based-care-type partnerships,” Sowers said. “I think this is the perfect type of example of where we can have better alignment across the health care spectrum. Driving this type of creative partnership that will help us kind of preempt the needs of our patients and collectively maximize our impact. We’re both community-based providers, so this type of relationship really allows us to support the community.”
24 Hour Home Care was acquired by TEAM Services Group, a portfolio company of the “anti-private equity firm” Alpine Investors, in October. The Los Angeles-based company had been independent since its founding in 2008.
Currently, it has 23 locations across California, Arizona and Texas, and it still operates as an independent agency.
A recent AARP survey showed that 77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term rather than going to a skilled nursing or assisted living facility. The partnership between PIH and 24 Hour Home Care will support those desires.
With the new program, PIH Health at Home caregivers will be available for up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week with an out-of-pocket charge. This will allow individuals to keep their independence without relying on facility-based care, which can be costly.
While often the more affordable alternative, home care can, of course, also be pricey. The bulk of home care operators have had to increase their service costs over the past year, with annual median home-maker services costs, for example, rising by 10.4% year over year.
Sowers said 24 Hour Home Care has assisted PIH patients in the past, and the success of those interactions was part of what led to this new partnership.
“We wanted to figure out how we could create something that was a deeper partnership that allowed us to increase the scope of helping those patients they serve at home,” Sowers said.
PIH Health is a nonprofit, regional health care network that serves about 3.7 million residents in the Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Gabriel Valley region.
“We are pleased to offer this service to our community,” Shelly Necke, vice president of post-acute care services of PIH Health, said in a news release. “Oftentimes a person just needs a little bit of human interaction and assistance to prevent an unnecessary hospitalization.”
Sowers said the plan is for 24 Hour Home Care to essentially take some of the “key learnings that we know as a non-medical home care operator and the individual patient perspective that we see at the home” and pair it with PIH’s expertise.
“And also gain the unique insights that the acute care system has for managing a patient population through that setting,” he said. “And be able to share those types of learnings together and really build a service that benefits the patients.”
Thursday’s news is just the latest development for 24 Hour Home Care.
In addition to joining TEAM Services Group, the company acquired the non-medical home care division of GrandCare Health Services in September. It has also been eyeing Medicaid-related opportunities as part of its mission to become a large, diversified in-home care powerhouse.
“When we started 24 Hour Home Care, we wanted to combine the professionalism of a large company with the personalization of a mom-and-pop business,” co-founder and President Ryan Iwamoto told HHCN during a 2020 Disrupt episode.