Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.
OVERLAND PARK — Kansas, June 2, 2020 — Netsmart announced today it has acquired New York-based post-acute healthcare consulting firm, Quality In Real Time (QIRT) and will assign it to the consulting services division headed up by last year's acquisition, McBee. We spoke with Netsmart VP Kevin Scalia and McBee President Mike Dordick. They told us the addition of QIRT to McBee will form the largest service provider in the post-acute community, totaling with more than 400 associates.
QIRT will become part of the McBee strategic consulting business unit to expand McBee's OASIS, minimum data set (MDS) coding and advisory consulting services for post-acute care and behavioral health providers. This acquisition builds upon the current Netsmart suite of operational, financial and clinical services by leveraging additional QIRT offerings, such as MDS and uniform assessment system (UAS) reviews.
For more than ten years, QIRT has partnered with clients in the post-acute market to provide healthcare advisory and consulting expertise. The company was founded by Laura Page-Greifinger, BSN, MPA, who will transition from Board Chair to a consulting role within McBee, Dordick told us.
"Netsmart and QIRT have a mutual dedication to quality of services and products. This commonality of values will further scale the Netsmart services offering to support and help post-acute agencies thrive. This partnership also brings together the top two OASIS and coding providers to serve the post-acute community," said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. "The merger of QIRT with McBee will provide the resources needed to allow Netsmart to deliver increased value to clients and will provide the opportunity for QIRT’s clients to leverage other Netsmart solutions and services."
"When I met Laura, I saw that she had the same vision for the post-acute care industry that Mike had," Scalia told us. "To build an industry leader, you must have both products and services. Billing today is so much more complex, as providers have to deal with not only Medicare but Managed Care Organizations, Medicare Advantage, and their variety of rules. Most clients do not have the technology nor the expertise to keep up in that landscape."
He added that Dordick, who also serves as chief strategist for Netsmart's home care division. will run the newly expanding consulting division, aided by Page-Greifinger and the entire QIRT senior staff, plus the New York-based company's 130 associates, who are distributed across the country.
Asked about the choice of QIRT, Dordick told us, "When I looked at the market at the time we joined Netsmart a year ago, the one high-quality competitor was QIRT. This acquisition puts us in a great position to develop a clinical and financial perspective for our services business."
"QIRT does have some great technology in addition to their coding expertise and their great people," Scalia continued. "We will leverage it with our HIE." He described the work Netsmart has been doing as a founding member of "Carequality," the interoperability collaborative. QIRT clients will gain access to patient data exchange with the growing number of Carequality members, including Epic.
"We have found Epic to be a willing interoperability partner," Scalia declared. "What will happen now is that a HHA that receives a referral from a hospital or physician using an EMR the HHA may not be familiar with will be able to access the network, find the patient in that EMR, and electronically supplement its own records." He added that this will not only be true for QIRT clients, or even for Netsmart users, but that the agreements built through Carequality will include access by HHAs using many other home health and hospice EMRs. "The need to compete takes a back seat when quality of patient care is at issue," he said. "Patients get services from a number of entities, using a variety of software systems. We all need to work together in service to the patient."
Dordick told us they have already been working on uploading QIRT's platform and combining it with McBee's coding and OASIS knowledge base. Names will be combined as well. To be consistent with other Netsmart product branding, QIRT's "Advantage" will become "Care Advantage" under McBee.
"QIRT is excited to join the Netsmart family. We chose to partner with Netsmart, the top technology and solutions company serving the post-acute and human services community. This partnership will provide additional services offerings to the existing QIRT clients which increases the value we deliver to our clients," said QIRT CEO Sid Kosaraju. "Our more than 130 associates combined with the more than 2,100 associates at Netsmart bring the largest dedicated focus to community care providers in the nation."
"By teaming up with Netsmart, we are excited to be able to bring our MDS review and managed long-term care assessment services to the Netsmart client base," said Ms. Page-Greifinger. "The passion that has fueled me while building the QIRT business is serving providers with a high-quality offering to help them thrive in their mission, and I have found a shared vision with Netsmart and am thrilled to become part of the Netsmart family."
Ms. Page-Greifinger founded QIRT in 2006 with Stephen Jessup, CPA. Both had worked in the home care and hospice communities for over 40 years. Ms. Page-Greifinger's work as a nurse, supervisor, executive director of home care agencies, and clinical consultant, culminated in becoming the founder and CEO of QIRT in 2006. Mr. Jessup was an accountant, financial consultant, accounting firm CEO, and revenue cycle management consultant before becoming the CFO of QIRT.
As a consultant for 20 years, Ms. Page-Greifinger noted that agencies had a difficult time staffing and retaining quality assurance professionals and that lack of these professionals created issues for agencies. Ms. Page-Greifinger recognized that quality assurance personnel could be brought under one entity to provide these needed services and QIRT was formed in 2006.
QIRT's initial service was providing multiple types of quality assurance reviews and coding to the home care and hospice community including OASIS/Plan of Care reviews, hospice coding and eligibility reviews, QA reviews and ADR reviews. In order to diversity offerings to customers, in 2008 QIRT launched its education division, providing online educational modules for home health clinicians, clinical and quality managers, and office staff. In 2014, the company launched its clinical and financial consulting divisions to further expand QIRT's offerings.
In 2014, QIRT relocated their national headquarters to Floral Park, New York to accommodate its growing New York workforce, nearly doubling its space and providing QIRT with significant room for growth. In addition, QIRT has an office location in Battle Creek, Michigan and a workforce of over 130 employees located throughout the country. QIRT employees reside in thirty states as of 2020.
Netsmart designs, builds and delivers electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIEs), analytics and telehealth solutions and services to care team members in behavioral health, home health, senior living and social services. By leveraging the powerful Netsmart network, care providers can seamlessly and securely integrate information across communities, collaborate on the most effective treatments and improve outcomes for those in their care.
For more than 50 years, Netsmart has been committed to providing a common platform to integrate care. More than 2,000 associates work hand-in-hand with 600,000+ users in more than 30,000 organizations across the U.S. to develop and deploy technology that automates provider operations from clinical to financial to administrative. Netsmart supports the EveryDayMatters® Foundation, which was established for behavioral health, care at home, senior living, and social services organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories.
©2020 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Home Care Technology: The Rowan Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org