The Visiting Nurse Associations of America and the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation have begun to work together for the benefit of their respective members and the entire healthcare at home sector. It is not quite a marriage -- the two entities will continue to have unique missions and member lists -- but they are living together. Alliance Executive Director Teresa Lee and Director of Communications and Events Jennifer Schiller have moved into the VNAA's Crystal City, Virginia headquarters, in an office a few feet down the hall from VNAA Director Tracey Moorhead.
The VNAA will continue its mission to support not-for-profit home care providers with advocacy activities, publications such as its Blueprint for Clinical Best Practices, annual and regional conferences, and the VNAA Center for Value Based Education. The Alliance will remain focused not on policy advocacy but on research and education services, which, though supported by member contributions, will be made available to the entire industry. VNAA membership is currently offered only to non-profit providers. AHHQI is open to all, though its fee structure, Ms. Lee told us, limits participation to larger providers.
Areas of overlapping interests were identified and will be developed together, including activities and services intended to help the healthcare at home sector prepare for coming changes, especially Value Based Purchasing and payment bundling. Services will include a co-sponsored Home Health VBP webinar series and the "Future of Home Health" project, initiated by the Alliance but now jointly developed.
FOHH is a research and strategic framework in development by Avalere and overseen by the Alliance Research Work Group. It is nearing completion and will result in two jointly planned regional FOHH symposia. The first has been scheduled for June 22-23 in Cincinnati and the second will be held in a western city later in the year.
During the Home Care 100 session where this joint venture was announced, representatives from a third group, the "Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare," were invited to describe their activities. Unlike the Alliance, though they have some members in common, the Partnership was formed to advocate for policies favorable to the industry. Though no formal relationship was discussed, it became clear that all three groups will be working, if not together, certainly in close proximity, toward the same goals.
Research and data analysis materials on the Alliance web site are free, provided their source is always cited when quoted or used. One of these, the "2016 Home Health Chart Book," includes lists of who is being served by home health, their top diagnoses, and the cumulative payer spend. The two organizations will collaborate on the popular "VNAA Blueprint for Excellence," which is updated at least once per year. "The current edition has new supplements," the VNAA's Moorhead stated, "including 30-day hospital readmissions data by state, a section on comprehensive care for joint replacement cases, and a hospital-specific database initiative."
During the formal announcement and explanation of this new collaboration, Ms. Moorhead added that the organizations have come together around the ideals of Value, Quality, Innovation, and Transformation to lead heathcare at home through the current period of evolutionary change and an aging population. They will also collaborate on best practices to achieve high Home Health star ratings, including both clinical and operational best practices, and attestations for agencies seeking recognition for achievements.
"The healthcare at home industry needs to address its concerns to its membership and to regulators and legislators with a single, unified voice," Ms. Lee concluded. "We offer a service that offers high quality care at an efficient cost to payers. We want that message of Value, Quality, Innovation, and Transformation to be heard."
©2016 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. email@example.com