Alternate Solutions, OSU Wexner Medical Center Form New Home Health JV

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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Alternate Solutions Health Network have partnered to form a new home health joint venture. The mission of the OSU-affiliated JV is to increase access to home-based care.

Kettering, Ohio-based Alternate Solutions Health Network is a national provider of post-acute solutions, including home health and hospice services.

Meanwhile, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a Columbus, Ohio-based multidisciplinary academic medical center. The health system operates seven hospitals.

The new home health joint venture is slated to launch by August. The organization will be owned by OSU Holding Corp., an Ohio State-affiliated entity, and Alternate Solutions Health Network.

“We are proud to partner with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to expand its top-quality care into the home,” David Ganzsarto, CEO of Alternate Solutions Health Network, said in a statement. “This partnership brings together a top academic health system and a leading post-acute care provider to serve the growing needs of the patients in our community. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Alternate Solutions Health Network have an aligned commitment to clinical excellence guided by innovation.”

Under the joint venture, the organizations will deliver skilled nursing care, skilled therapy, home health aide services and social work services across the Columbus market.

All patients coming out of the university health system will have the opportunity to continue their care in the home, Rachit Thariani, chief population health officer at Wexner Medical Center, told Home Health Care News.

“This would include patients who are recovering from surgery and need home health care, patients with certain chronic or acute conditions, including cancer,” Thariani said. “[Also] seniors, as well as patients who would require some sort of nursing care or rehabilitation services.”

The joint venture has its roots in a previous partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Alternate Solutions Health Network.

For the past couple of years, Alternate Solutions Health Network has been one of Wexner Medical Center’s preferred providers. About a year ago, the organizations began early talks to form a home health partnership, Chad Creech, chief strategy and integration officer of Alternate Solutions Health Network, told HHCN.

“We had ongoing conversations, as a preferred provider, and they knew we exclusively do joint ventures with health systems,” he said. “We found it natural to start talking through some strategies on how we could provide patients with higher quality care — aligning with their goals of preventing rehospitalizations and closing care gaps.”

Similarly, Thariani stressed that the home health joint venture was born of a mutual desire to expand access to care.

“Home health is a critical component of the care continuum for our patients,” he said. “As our chancellor would say — when it’s done right, it improves outcomes. That’s something we, as a system, have been really looking at very actively, as we construct our broader health platform. The ability to provide care for people in the home is a key part of our health platform.”

For Alternate Solutions Health Network, the prospect of collaborating with an organization that was at the forefront of post-acute value-based payment models was another selling point, according to Creech.

“We see that home health is really moving in that direction with many alternative pay models, and we were really interested in connecting and building relationships and partnerships with health systems that are always thinking innovatively,” he said.

Another factor that sets The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center apart is its position as an academic institution.

In general, academic institutions are known for being enclaves of discovery. Typically, home health providers that operate as part of university-affiliated health systems have greater access to the resources of their respective institutions.

This can range from being on the front lines of cutting-edge research to a more seamless referral process.

Ultimately, Thariani believes that the organization’s position, within an academic institution, will give them the opportunity to introduce unique forms of care.

“We have the ability to create new models of care,” he said. “We have the ability to then integrate some of these emerging care models into our educational curriculum. The obligation then is in serving the community, training the future generation of health professionals, and identifying and introducing innovations in care. The combination of those three, with our ability to provide the highest quality connected care to our patients, is something that truly differentiates us.”

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