The movement to community-based care had momentum even prior to the pandemic, but never has the opportunity for change been more primed than present day. At Chapters Health System, this change was really an expansion of the mission we’ve always served.
While our roots are in end-of-life care, the real mission has always been a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to delivering the highest quality, lowest cost care in the ideal setting for patients and families. Given our exceptional track record for nearly 40 years in this space, it was only logical to extend that same innovative approach to continuum of care and thereby solve many of the issues facing our fragmented healthcare delivery system today. As a result, Chapters Health has grown both horizontally and vertically, expanding service offerings and attracting new member organizations into our family of companies.
The concept is rather simple in nature, but the real feat is in execution. Cultural and operational underpinnings rooted in individualized care planning have perfectly set the stage to incorporate community health services, social determinants of health and primary care in value-based designs. Using a matrixed approach incorporating home health, advanced illness management, telemedicine, social determinants of health, and primary care, we have been able to move chronic illness care further upstream, delivering the low-cost, high-quality experience that has for so long been the core of end-of-life care.
The unique nature of Chapters Health’s continuum-based approach is that it offers wins for all stakeholders. By focusing on the unique needs of each patient and the unique pain points of each payor or partner, Chapters Health employs solutions that bring maximal return while reducing waste and redundancies created when using the fragmented healthcare system at-large.
Think of it this way, when you’re truly listening to the patient and what they really want, you avoid using or providing things they don’t want. That part is easy, right? The value to our payors and partners lies in listening to them the same way. If their primary goal is member engagement, we customize our approach to meet that need. If their need is emergent care reduction, we build our response accordingly. Having a full continuum of services at our disposal is the key. Without that, you’re forced as a payor to rely upon multiple organizations who almost certainly lack alignment of incentives and goals.
I’m often heard reciting the old line, “If you’ve seen one model, you’ve seen one model.” It applies here as well. The success of emerging models is an ownership mentality. The very premise of risk-based medicine is you do what is right for the patients, so the outcome is optimal, and your success is too. That very basic concept accounts for 80% of how you align concurrent models of thought or business. There will likely be a great deal of individualization or customization as you expand your business, but having highly engaged team members, a strong company culture of care and accountability, and innovative spirit will be key as you look to bring your company along on the journey from traditional to emerging. It is also key to remember that the journey is never complete. What was emerging last week is traditional next week. It’s always going to be a balancing act but that’s the fun part.
The most common question Chapters Health gets is: “How do we bring this sort of approach to our market? Where do we start?” The answer, while very straightforward, does require a great deal of organizational planning. Here are the top three strategies I would suggest:
- A clear definition of organizational goals: Achieving this new approach requires complex and sophisticated steps. A clear set of end goals is critical to stay on track.
- Define your strategy: There are an exceptionally small number of organizations that have ownership of all the entities and capabilities needed to execute a plan of this nature. Having a full continuum – whether owned, managed or partnered with – is key.
- Invest in communication: Having understanding and buy-in from all key stakeholders in the organization is paramount. You will be doing something very few others have done. It will lend itself to excitement and anticipation, but also confusion and potential hesitancy or fear. Managing that early on and assertively will be critical to maintaining the momentum needed for long-term change.
For more information, visit chaptershealth.org.