VCU Health system in Virginia is branching into home health and palliative care with the formation of a new company called VCU Health at Home by Bayada, a collaboration with a national home health provider.
Patients of VCU Health System will gain access to end-of-life care and services related to a recent hospital stay, thus keeping patients inside the system. The new company will begin accepting patients in early 2022, and is the first foray into the Richmond metro region by not-for-profit Bayada Home Health Care.
"Having our own home health and hospice care program is an incredibly important service for our patients and their loved ones," said Ryan Raisig, associate vice president for coordinated care and continuum integration at VCU Health. "Access to high quality, in-home care for individuals recovering from an injury or illness will provide a more comprehensive patient care experience."
VCU Health System is comprised of an academic medical center, a smaller community hospital, a children's hospital and a physician group.
VCU follows a nationwide trend of hospitals seeing a growing aging population coupled with policy movements that will allow for Medicare to cover more services beyond institutionalized settings. For instance, investment firm LHC Group has around 400 joint venture partnerships with hospitals to provide home health and hospice services. In 2019, for-profit health system Ascension Health partnered with equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners to buy national hospice, palliative care and home care provider Compassus.
"One of the biggest priorities in the last three years for hospitals is where to invest and partner to provide continuity of services across the system of care," said Madeleine McDowell, principal and medical director for Vizient-subsidiary Sg2. "Hospitals have branched out beyond their four walls to deliver integrated care across the ambulatory setting and more and more in consumer-friendly venues like the home."
VCU Health said in a press release that the new company will give patients the same level of care that the academic medical center provides, just in a post-acute and palliative care.
"We are partnering with a national expert to set a new quality standard for home health and hospice care in Virginia," said Art Kellermann, senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System.