UHS partners with home health giant Bayada on at-home services

Dive Brief:

  • Universal Health Services and home health giant Bayada signed a definitive agreement on Thursday to form a joint venture providing care in the home.
  • Bayada will manage post-acute home health operations, while UHS will utilize Bayada’s years of expertise in the sector in tandem with UHS’ capabilities and resources to further its integrated model, Kyle Moore, VP of Ambulatory Services for UHS, told Healthcare Dive.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but “further information about planned markets will follow,” Moore said.

Dive Insight:

Even before the pandemic stressed the nation’s inpatient capacity, hospitals were looking for ways to expand care beyond the inpatient setting as admissions flatlined and more patients asked for care in the home.

It’s a savvy financial investment: America’s population is trending older — about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day — and the current patchwork chassis of assisted living facilities and nursing homes with too-high prices and too-few beds isn’t strong enough to hold the growing weight, experts warn.

King of Prussia, Pa.-based operator UHS and Bayada will offer a slew of at-home services, including help recovering from an illness, injury or hospitalization from COVID-19 or any other condition, per the release.

The two companies said they expect to see significant demand for home health services in the next few years. Studies show care at home is generally cheaper and has better outcomes than care provided in the hospital.

Moorestown, N.J.-based Bayada has been operating in-home nursing, rehab, therapeutic, hospice and assisted care services for 45 years. The company has a sizeable footprint, operating in 23 states and employing 28,000 nurses, home health aides and other medical staff.

Bayada, which transitioned to a nonprofit in 2018, brought in revenue of $1.5 billion last year. Its pediatric home health business made up a third of the total.

Integrated health system UHS brought in $11.4 billion in revenue last year across its 26 acute care hospitals, 328 behavioral health facilities and 42 outpatient and ambulatory care facilities. However, the behemoth operator rescinded its earnings forecast for 2020 following plummeting operating income and rising expenses in the first quarter.

The news comes roughly a week after UHS paid $122 million to the DOJ to settle a years-long investigation into alleged billing fraud at its behavioral health facilities.

The pandemic has illustrated the need for U.S. hospitals to look for new ways to ensure continuity of care for their patients, COVID-19 or otherwise, as ICU beds rapidly fill. Some hospitals are becoming overwhelmed in new hotspots in the South and West, many in states with a high percentage of older adults like California, Florida and Texas.

In June, Salt Lake City-based system Intermountain Healthcare launched an at-home care service for specific conditions like congestive heart failure, infections and some cancer diagnoses. The offering was accelerated due to the pandemic but not because of it, though there are examples of hospital-in-the-home options created due to COVID-19, such as Minnesota North Memorial Health’s venture with senior services provider Lifesprk.