Allina Health spinoff to help health systems build hospital-at-home programs

Minneapolis-based Allina Health, working with Flare Capital Partners, has launched a new company, Inbound Health, designed to help health systems and payers design and build hospital-at-home and home-based skilled nursing programs.

The goal with Inbound Health is to offer the full stack of capabilities needed to scale at-home care models, according to Allina Health – such as engagement and workflow technologies, analytics, virtual care teams, home-based care pathways,  supply chain partnerships, operational oversight and payment models.

The new company will be led by CEO Dave Kerwar, who has previously served as chief product officer at Mount Sinai Health System, where he developed IT-driven direct-to-consumer, direct-to-employer and population health programs focused on quality improvement and cost efficiencies.

Inbound Health will use $20 million in new financing to build out its proprietary technology platform, which integrates with biometric monitoring devices and offers AI-enabled analytics to track workflow and engagement in hospital-at-home care programs.

The functionalities offered by the Inbound Health platform include integrated virtual and in-home care delivery, coordinated to fit seamlessly in a health system’s operations; predictive patient ID,  to help identify patients who could safely receive high-acuity care at home; and personalized planning, to scale care plans for patients’ needs and coordinate interdisciplinary teams.

Inbound Health also offers digital engagement assets to proactively and passively identify patient needs and ensure “high-touch, easy interactions between the patient and the care team,” according to the new announcement, and coordinated discharge processes to help ensure safe transitions from high-acuity home-based care into a health system’s network.

“We are proud to be backed by one of the most prestigious health systems and one of the largest dedicated healthcare technology venture capital firms in the country in our pursuit to revolutionize this new level of care,” said Kerwar, in a statement. “Inbound Health will leverage the clinical, operational, and technology assets that we’ve developed alongside Allina Health to enable our customers nationwide to safely offer facility-level care in the home, at a lower cost and with an elevated patient and caregiver experience.”

Hospital-at-home programs are quickly increasing in popularity, and redefining traditional approaches to care delivery.

Much of the growth is being driven by large health systems like Allina Health. This past year, for instance, Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente announced a joint $100 million investment in Medically Home Group, whose tech platform is designed to enable providers to offer home-based acute care safely. Ascension, Intermountain and others are also working together to advance more innovative policies in the space.

Smaller hospitals and health networks should be starting now to prepare for hospital-at-home models. Here are some tips to set programs up for success.

The Inbound Health platform has been operational across Allina Health’s service area since May 2020, and already, more than 4,200 patients across 185 primary diagnoses have received care through the program.

That has enabled Allina Health to widen the continuum of care for its patients, with tools such as biometric monitoring, digital surveillance, in-home therapy, virtual visits with hospitalists and geriatricians and more.

According to Allina officials, the program has lowered total-cost-of-care by 30-40% on a risk-adjusted basis while achieving similar or improved clinical outcomes when compared to traditional facility-based care – helping the health system develop new episodic-based payer contracts with commercial and Medicare Advantage payers in Minnesota.

“The home hospital programs that we’ve scaled to thousands of patients here in Minnesota are rooted in our population health drivers of delivering safe, high quality, affordable care that’s timely and convenient to access,” said Lisa Shannon, president and CEO of Allina Health, in a statement. “We are excited for Inbound Health to leverage the capabilities and know-how that power these programs to scale similar at-home programs across the nation.”

“Home-based acute care models represent a compelling opportunity to lower the cost of care while increasing access and satisfaction for patients,” added Michael Greeley, co-founder of Flare Capital Partners. “Inbound Health is truly differentiated, not only due to the unique clinical and technology assets that underpin the platform, but also because it has powered one of the largest hospitals and SNF-at-home programs in the country.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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