Jefferson Health, Bayada to ramp up post-acute home care services with new joint venture

Jefferson Health and Bayada Home Health Care have announced plans for a post-acute care joint venture that will ramp up home-based services and virtual technologies for the health system’s New Jersey and Pennsylvania patients.

The industry’s latest home health push is being preliminarily referred to as Jefferson Health at Home and is expected to be finalized in spring 2022.

Jefferson and Bayada said the joint venture is a way to implement the home care strengths of each organization.

For Jefferson, that means its existing home health and hospice services of Jefferson Health New Jersey and Abington Jefferson Health. Bayada, on the other hand, is offering up its scale and management systems to provide operational oversight to the joint venture.

The partners also noted that their effort will place a “specific emphasis on seamless transitions in care” as well as greater access to digital health technologies that can improve the patient experience.

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“This partnership is a revolutionary step toward a future with home at the center of health care,” said David Baiada, CEO of Bayada, in a statement. “Bayada’s management, operational and clinical expertise, paired with Jefferson Health’s clinical vision and commitment to innovation, will continue to transform healthcare in the Philadelphia region, and we will use this platform to launch bold and innovative digital health care experiences at home—where people want to be most.”

Jefferson Health at Home will have joint leadership and governance from its two founding organizations, according to the announcement. The agreement will also see an academic affiliation that adds training options for Jefferson’s students, the organizations said.

“The pandemic heightened demand for hospital services delivered at home,” Bruce Meyer, M.D., president of Jefferson Health, said in a statement. “Jefferson extended infusion services and remote oxygen monitoring into the homes of thousands of our patients while seeing tens of thousands of patients through our telehealth service. Now, with Bayada and Jefferson aligned, we’re able to leverage their best post-acute-care practices across an expanded geographic footprint while lowering the total cost of care without compromising access or quality.”

Moorestown, New Jersey-based Bayada is a family-run nonprofit employing more than 26,000 nurses, home health aides, therapists and other home health professionals. It runs 347 locations across 22 states and a handful of countries outside of the U.S.

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Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health recently finalized a merger with Einstein Healthcare Network that had seen early opposition from federal regulators. It also assumed full ownership of managed care plan Health Partners Plan from Temple University Health System just a few weeks back, a move it said would springboard a push toward value-based care.

The appetite for home-based post-acute care programs has grown among health systems, thanks in part to emergency reimbursement allowances some stakeholders are hoping will last well beyond the pandemic.

Analysts predict the number of hospital-at-home providers will triple in the coming years as systems like Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Henry Ford Health System and UnityPoint Health have all recently ramped up their hospital at-home efforts. But not all industry stakeholders are pleased with the shift; National Nurses United recently wrote that the at-home acute care trend threatens jobs and diminishes the role hospital nurses have in providing appropriate patient care.