Some of the largest US hospital systems, including Ascension, CommonSpirit
and Highmark Health, turn from delivering onsite hospital care to caring for
patients in their homes, with the help of a Nashville-based startup, Contessa.
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This practice may seem counter to the traditional healthcare business model,
but it provides cost reduction without sacrificing quality and satisfaction,
and is a response to rising consumerism in healthcare. It is also in line with
the general tendency of care being transferred away from the expensive hospital
With Contessa, the sickest patients can be cared for in the hospital and the less demanding cases can be monitored at their homes, which potentially reduces overhead costs for hospitals. It also helps to alleviate congestion at busy hospitals enabling doctors to pay more attention to more complicated cases.
Contessa CEO Travis Messina told Healthcare Dive that he was surprised at how many patients could potentially receive care at home. During his work for Vanguard Health Systems (later acquired by Tenet Health), he realised that at least 40% of admissions did not require continuous monitoring. The launch of Bundled Payment for Care Improvement programme was a trigger for Messina to start developing the idea, which would later become Contessa.
The startup focuses on medical complications, such as diverticulitis,
pneumonia, congestive heart failure and asthma. In total, up to 150 diagnoses can
be identified by Contessa’s technology, which allows a medical team to decide
if a patient may be transferred to care at home.
Areas such as reimbursement arrangements are also included in the cooperation
framework between Contessa and hospital organisations. In most cases, the startup
forms a new co-owned joint venture with its health system partners. There is a
fixed price for a 30-day period, or bundle of services, while the excess cost is
absorbed by the joint venture.
Source: Healthcare Dive
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