Jan. 9, 2013
-- An ambitious home care company out of Alexandria VA has created a business model designed to combat health care fragmentation. Einer Elhauge, Harvard professor of law and editor of The Fragmentation of U.S. Health Care, describes fragmentation as “a lack of coordination between different providers.” Numerous authors have described how this lack of coordination or fragmentation can lead to missed opportunities and worsened outcomes in health care. Alexandria based Individual Care, Inc. has created a business model that presents new hope for greatly reducing health care fragmentation in the home care arena.
Home care refers to the ability of people to receive health care services at home, and it refers to the ability of people to turn their homes into their own private assisted living facilities. However, the home care services one retiree might need over the course of a decade are typically divided among several different provider types with each provider specializing in their one little piece of the puzzle. For instance, if a person is sent home from the hospital with a serious condition and a need for bed rest, that person might have to receive nursing care from one company, a hospital bed from a different company, daily assistance with help around the home from a different company, and - if the disease becomes terminal - hospice care from yet another company. Into this fragmented scene enters Individual Care, Inc., with a business plan designed to buck this system. Under the one company umbrella of home care activities, they are providing a range of services that people would normally have to get from five different companies. The range of services include skilled sub-acute health care, non-medical home care, hospice and palliative care, home medical equipment, home modification, medical transportation, in-home physical therapy, in-home speech therapy, and other services.
Delvin Macarthy, co-founder of Individual Care, states “I think the current system leads to what I call square-peg / round-hole syndrome. One home care company gets a patient, and they tend to look at how their one, specialized program can address all the patient’s needs even though each individual program is severely limited in scope by insurance, state, and federal regulations. By taking what has traditionally been considered several different provider types and weaving them together into one seamless home care service, we can better create care plans that are based on what the individual really needs instead of what a specialized company is allowed to provide.” Macarthy goes on to say that this model should also be a boon to doctors’ offices that often have to authorize these services. Instead of their staff having to coordinate services from five or more companies for one patient, doctors will have the option of doing comprehensive home care planning with one company.
Individual Care, Inc. is a skilled and non-medical home care company based in Alexandria, VA. They provide in-home nursing, certified nursing assistants, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, home health aides, and other professionals to help with a broad array of home care needs.