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“They are calling us for help”: How the healthcare struggle is woven into the Accent Care-Seasons merger

Coronavirus is the recently announced AccentCare Inc. It did not directly lead to the merger of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, but it played a fairly important role.

On Monday, Dallas-based Accent Care and Illinois-based Seasons announced that they would soon work together to create a new post-acute power. The merger decision makes sense due to the similar geographic footprint of the companies, free services, and a variety of other reasons, but it is also a strategic response to the changing needs of the US healthcare system. did.

“I think there are some important trends happening in the market and I think we’re in a good position to take advantage of them,” Accent Care CEO Steve Rodgers told Home Health Care News.

Since the beginning of November, more than 2 million new coronavirus infections have occurred in the United States, and since spring, more than 11 million infections have occurred throughout the United States. Health systems and hospitals are approaching their limits again, many already reaching maximum capacity or growing dangerously thin at the forefront of staffing.

In fact, just one day before Accent Care and Seasons announced their merger plans, Rodgers was calling the COO of Upper Midwest’s major healthcare system. During the call, health system executives had dozens of COVID-19 patients in one of the hospitals when 35 ICU nurses were absent due to community-related coronavirus exposure. I noticed.

“They have about 35 to 40 patients who need to leave the hospital where they are seeking help,” Rogers said.

Increasingly, more healthcare systems are turning to home care providers such as AccentCare and Seasons to expand capacity and redirect patients. The pursuit of an innovative home care model began in 2019, but has since intensified due to the coronavirus.

As proof, you only need to look at some home hospital programs that have emerged in the last eight months. The latest example is Quincy Medical Group, Illinois, which has its own program underway. Rodgers confirmed that “many” healthcare systems specifically require AccelCare to accelerate hospital activities at home.

“”[COVID] It has increased the complexity of patients coming out of the healthcare system, “he said. “And what you need is a greater and wider range of abilities to care for those patients.”

Alone, Accent Care and Seasons are already the two largest post-acute treatments in the home care and hospice disciplines, each offering a wide range of services. But together, they will be able to better care for those sensitive patients coming from their medical system partners.

The two companies will complete the merger by the end of 2020, awaiting regulatory approval. The integrated company will then provide home health care, hospice and personal care services at 225 care sites in 26 states and employ approximately 30,000 workers.

Overall, the AccentCare-Seasons combination has more than 60 partnerships with healthcare systems and physician practice, providing collective care to more than 175,000 patients and families annually.

“The healthcare system is starting to feel that,” Rogers said. “And they are calling us for help.”

Going forward, home care providers with a range and depth of service will be best suited for home hospital models and similar opportunities related to shifts in care from the acute phase. Perhaps following the merger of AccentCare and Seasons, technology will join the equation and trade will shape even more industries.

“Another thing you’ll continue to see is accelerating technology to your home,” Rogers said. “Large organizations can invest in the technologies and services they can use to support their strategic partners.”

The merger of AccentCare and Seasons will enhance the ability to take on complex patients from acute situations and provide new access to physician services, another benefit of today’s healthcare ecosystem. ..

“One of the areas we find difficult to coordinate is the services of doctors,” Rogers said. “The season brings the care of a very sophisticated medical group in each state of business. That practice is currently very hospice-focused, but the ability to complement more complex groups to complement the community. We see this as an opportunity to expand. Available based physician services. “

Internally, AccentCare is once again beginning to feel the effects of the COVID-19 virus on some markets, especially staffing. Backed by private-equity fund Advent International, the company currently operates in more than 179 locations in 17 states.

It was one of the first home healthcare providers to publicly talk about the coronavirus and its response strategies.

“We are beginning to see pickups in many markets, especially those with a positive diagnosis of 50 per 100,000, or more than 100 per 100,000,” Rogers said. “Employee absenteeism associated with positive cases is increasing.”

Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care is also feeling the impact of the current surge, CEO Todd Stern told HHCN. Continuous access to patients in a facility-based setting is one particular challenge, he said.

“We can see a little more restricted access,” says Stern. “But demand continues to exist.”

Seasons spans 19 states and 31 Medicare certification programs, providing end-of-life care services to more than 30,000 patients annually.

“There is no shortage of our service needs,” Stern said. “That’s exactly the opposite.”

“They are calling us for help”: How the healthcare struggle is woven into the Accent Care-Seasons merger

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