Hosparus Health has entered into an agreement with Humana Inc. to provide hospice and palliative care services to patients enrolled in two of the insurer’s Medicare Advantage plans in Kentucky and Indiana, as part of the national Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) demonstration launched Jan. 1. Read today’s national announcement from Humana here.
Palliative care will be offered in 13 counties. Hosparus is the only in-network hospice provider in Kentucky, serving Bullitt, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties, and one of two in Indiana, serving Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties. Due to hospice Certificate of Need restrictions, Hosparus will provide only palliative care services in Nelson County. The nonprofit organization anticipates serving more than 300 Humana Medicare Advantage patients in 2021. Hosparus Health has hired nine palliative care team members to accommodate the influx of new patients from both Humana plans and regular referrals.
The VBID demonstration, also known as the hospice carve-in model, represents the first time hospice care is included in Medicare Advantage plans. Previously, hospice services have been covered under traditional Medicare. In this new model, patients will enter the VBID demonstration through palliative care, also known as advanced illness care. Patients who are hospice eligible will have access to a concurrent care benefit or coverage overlap, which means they may access hospice and continue to receive curative or aggressive disease therapies at the same time for up to 31 days. Under traditional Medicare, patients must stop curative treatments in order to enter hospice care. Hospice patients in the new model will have access to additional benefits, including supplemental in-home respite and a support fund to address patients’ needs related to their social determinants of health.
Hosparus Health has provided compassionate care for patients and families facing serious illness wherever they call home since 1978. Its care teams are recognized and respected across the country for innovation and expertise in hospice and palliative care for the most complex health issues. Hospice care is for people facing terminal illness who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Palliative care can be provided at any time during serious or chronic illness and can continue for as long as necessary.
“Forty-two years ago, we began providing hospice care and for all those years, Medicare has been a direct reimbursement source for our hospice services. We’ve very excited to be part of the Medicare Advantage expansion into hospice and palliative care, and we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Humana,” says Scott Herrmann, Hosparus Health Chief Strategy Officer. “Our participation in the VBID demonstration, along with our service line expansion efforts already under way, position us for significant future growth in the palliative care space.”
Susan Diamond, Segment President of Humana’s Home business, applauded the partnership with Hosparus for its focus on the patient. “Humana is committed to simplifying the health care experience for our members at all stages of life,” she says. “Our partnership with the experienced team at Hosparus will allow us to do that through greater continuity of care that we believe will better meet the needs of our members across the region.”
Hosparus Health is providing palliative care services to Medicare Advantage patients under the brand Pallitus Health Partners, its reimagined palliative care program based on “you-centered care.” Pallitus is a provider-led model of care that offers chronic symptom management and specialty medical management designed to meet individual patient goals and care needs wherever they call home to offer them best possible quality of life. The new brand also launched Jan. 1.
“As the aging population continues to grow and those with chronic conditions are taking back control of their care, the demand for community-based palliative care has increased exponentially in recent years,” says Bethany Snider, M.D., Hosparus Health’s Chief Medical Officer. “We’ve responded by expanding our service offerings beyond traditional hospice care. Through the evolution and growth of our palliative program, we saw the need to launch a fully branded model that sets our palliative services apart while complementing the legacy of the Hosparus Health brand. Although we’ll be operating under a new name, Pallitus Health Partners will continue to deliver the same exceptional care and compassion that our patients and families have come to expect.”
Pallitus Health Partners will operate as a dba under Hosparus Inc. in Indiana and Care Guide Partners Inc. in Kentucky.