It is a universal problem in home health care. The nurse, therapist, or aide rings the doorbell and no one answers. If there is an emergency contact, a quick phone call may or may not find the answer: an unexpected ambulance ride to the hospital. If there is no one to call, it may be days before the agency finds its "missing" patient. Missed visits are at least annoying, at worst the cause of another LUPA.
After years at CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation during the Obama era, Jay Desai became inspired while hearing of this problem over and over again. Inspiration led to the design and coding of a software solution that launched him from civil servant to entrepreneur. The company he created, "PatientPing," around his aptly-named product, "Ping," followed its seven years of success with the recent announcement that it has been acquired by Appriss Health, a leader in cloud-based care coordination software and analytics solutions focused on behavioral health and substance use disorders.
Backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and Insight Partners, the acquisition was announced in March and became final at the end of May. We spoke with Mr. Desai, founding CEO of PatientPing and now Chief Strategy Officer for Appriss Health to flesh out the official story, reprinted below.
Home health agencies that use Ping receive an automated notification whenever a patient turns up at a participating emergency department or is admitted to or discharged from a hospital. Participating hospitals agree to let Ping access their EHR for the purpose of seeing the names of only those patients submitted to PatientPing by its client home health agencies. Desai explained to us that his company's proprietary algorithms preserve HIPAA privacy by revealing only recognized names its home health clients provide. Individual identities are verified by other demographic points such as birth date, gender, and insurance ID number. Non-matches are never seen by the company or its systems.
Home health agencies submit current patient names to PatientPing, which keeps them in its database through the last PPS care episode and for an additional 90 days after discharge. Patients themselves can supply written permission to keep their name on file with PatientPing beyond 90 days. PatientPing charges HHA clients a fee based on the number of active patient names. There is no charge to participating hospitals.
"Obviously, the home health agency benefits, but the hospital benefits as well," Desai continued. "Emergency departments and hospital admissions personnel and discharge planners know from the moment the patient arrives that she is already under the care of a home health nurse. They feel more comfortable sending them home, knowing a nurse is waiting for them. HHAs avoid missed visits and increase their odds of keeping the patient under their wing at discharge."
Hospitals can also contract with PatientPing to receive patient history from participating HHAs, he said. "We can supply the hospital with medication lists, historic care plans, and recent assessments."
"From a business perspective," he concluded, "keeping a patient after a hospital stay is critical to home health agencies. Fully 40 percent of an HHAs census consists of prior patients they have seen in the past. Even if the HHA discharged a person up to 90 days before, getting the alert that they are back in the hospital affords the opportunity get back in touch and arrange to resume services before they inadvertently choose another agency."
He added that proposed future payment systems such as Value-Based Care and bundled billing will rely heavily on care coordination to be successful at improving care while reducing costs. This is the driver behind one of the CommonWell Health Alliance founders, Jitin Asnaani, joining PatientPing's executive team as VP, Head of Partnerships and Government Affairs. The Ping application, especially now with the resources of Appriss Health, adds a layer of interoperability with a minimum of effort from both the acute and post-acute sides of the equation.
Louisville, KY and Boston, MA – March 23, 2021 – Appriss Health announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PatientPing, a leader in care coordination data and software solutions focused on patients with complex needs, and senior care. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction will enable the combined companies to deliver more effectively on their shared mission of enabling various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to utilize software and analytics solutions to facilitate better care for patients across the physical and behavioral health continuum. Together, the software improves patient outcomes, and lowers the total cost of care. The combination will result in more effective collaboration among healthcare professionals on shared patients across their entire spectrum of needs, creating the largest and most diverse care collaboration network in the country, connecting close to one million healthcare professionals across all 50 states at virtually all care settings including primary and specialty care, emergency departments, inpatient facilities, skilled nursing facilities, post-acute facilities, behavioral health treatment centers, pharmacies, home health agencies and state health agencies.
"Appriss Health already provides its technology, data and analytics to improve how care is provided in over a billion patient encounters each year. We are excited to be able to immediately serve this broader community of healthcare professionals with unique insights, and real-time clinical decision support," said Rob Cohen, Appriss Health President. "Care team members will now be able to come together on a common platform and positively impact the patient’s whole care experience, both physically and behaviorally. Everyone recognizes the impact of behavioral health issues on a person’s physical and mental well-being, and we are proud to be tackling one of the biggest issues facing the nation."
PatientPing CEO Jay Desai said, "This combination is transformational for patient care. PatientPing's mission since its founding has been to connect providers to seamlessly coordinate and significantly improve patient outcomes while lowering the cost of care. Our combined networks will connect providers across all care settings so they can work together better to improve clinical episodes and care transitions for the millions of patients that interact with the nations’ healthcare providers."
"At Appriss, we intentionally focus on making sure that our technology solutions promote social good," said Appriss Inc. CEO, Krishnan Sastry. "Appriss has a 25-year track record of looking for ways technology can address major problems that affect our society. Delivering technology that improves how patients receive care is one of our largest focus areas. In healthcare, the ultimate goal is to be able to put the patient as the central point of focus, understand their physical ailments, lifestyle issues, behavioral health issues and any social determinants that impede progress towards better health. When multiple healthcare professionals, across multiple care-settings are able to leverage technology and data to provide patient-centered care, outcomes improve, and costs come down. We’re proud to combine the efforts of our Appriss Health team with those of PatientPing to improve how we deliver care in America."
The combined Appriss Health and PatientPing platform serves the largest integrated delivery systems in the U.S., including 2,500 hospitals, 7,500 post-acute facilities, 25,000 pharmacies including every national pharmacy chain and 43 state governments. Without comprehensive data and the right tools in the clinical workflow, caregivers struggle to formulate cohesive treatment plans, leading to disjointed and inefficient care that ultimately impacts the patient experience and health outcomes. In many cases, effectiveness suffers, and costs increase. While many providers and payers are actively implementing coordinated care models, to fully realize the benefits, they need software solutions with insights based on comprehensive data sets to communicate across a large network of caregivers. Appriss Health and PatientPing's combined software and analytics solutions will provide access to high-integrity clinical information and applications that are both accurate and enhance care offerings.
Evercore and District Capital Partners acted as financial advisors and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisor to Appriss, Clearlake and Insight Partners. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor and Gunderson served as legal advisor to PatientPing. The transaction closed in the second quarter of 2021.
PatientPing is an innovative care collaboration platform that reduces the cost of healthcare and improves patient outcomes by seamlessly connecting providers to coordinate patient care. The platform enables providers to collaborate on shared patients through a comprehensive suite of solutions and allows provider organizations, health plans, governments, individuals and the organizations supporting them to leverage real-time patient data to reach their shared goals of improving the efficiency of our healthcare system. PatientPing’s network connects over 1,250 hospitals, 7,000 post-acute care facilities, and hundreds of other providers such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), social and human service agencies, urgent cares, and behavioral health organizations among others.
Appriss Inc. is a leading data and analytics company on a mission to put knowledge to work for good in the world. Founded in Louisville, KY in 1994, Appriss’s technology products and services help clients analyze trends, identify risks and make better decisions that improve the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Guided by their “Knowledge for Good” philosophy, Appriss serves businesses, governments, healthcare institutions and commercial enterprises in over 25 countries across 4 continents. More information is available at www.appriss.com.
Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with experienced management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake’s operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm’s core target sectors are technology, industrials and consumer. Clearlake currently has approximately $30 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 300 investments. The firm has offices in Santa Monica and Dallas. More information is available at www.clearlake.com and on Twitter @ClearlakeCap.
About Insight Partners
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Founded in 1995, Insight Partners has invested in more than 400 companies worldwide and has raised through a series of funds more than $30 billion in capital commitments. Insight’s mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on software expertise to foster long-term success. Across its people and its portfolio, Insight encourages a culture around a belief that ScaleUp companies and growth create opportunity for all.
About Jay Desai
Jay started PatientPing in 2013 with one goal in mind: to connect providers everywhere to seamlessly coordinate patient care. Prior to founding PatientPing, Jay worked at the CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) where he helped develop ACOs, bundled payments, and other payment initiatives. Jay’s passion lies at the intersection of technology, policy, and community building. He has an MBA in healthcare management from Wharton and a BA from the University of Michigan.