Home care technology company ClearCare has launched Home Connect API, a new technology that will allow home care agencies to connect directly to health plans and hospitals for referrals, care management, and billing.
“Home care, that whole industry has really been largely removed from the rest of the continuum of care,” ClearCare CEO Geoff Nudd told MobiHealthNews. “But that’s changing. With the shift to value-based care, home care agencies are the lowest-cost providers, serving the highest cost patients. And with the shift to value-based care, home care has a huge and very apparent role to play solving the healthcare and aging challenges of our time.”
The launch is partly motivated by a CMS policy change at the beginning of April.
“On April 2nd, so just about six weeks ago, CMS announced that it will allow unskilled home care as a supplemental benefit on Medicare Advantage plans for the first time,” Nudd explained. “Previously, that kind of home care could not be included as a Medicare Advantage benefit. … I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg with this announcement. … The reimbursement landscape will continue to expand for this kind of home care because it is so effective.”
The API will allow healthcare providers to add functionality for referring patients to home care directly into their existing clinical systems. It facilitates transfer of data to ClearCare’s online and mobile platform for managing home care and caregivers. The API can also help provider organizations enforce and monitor standards of care for home caregivers.
“Eight years ago when ClearCare started it was a highly fragmented technology market and nobody had the scale to assemble and maintain that kind of capability. And ClearCare has changed that by virtue of consolidating most of the technology market in the home care industry. That allows ClearCare to provide enterprise-class portal connectivity to payers and providers,” Nudd said. “Second, we’ve invested in, over the last two years, enterprise-class APIs and enterprise-class business intelligence. And what that allows a payer or provider to do is manage home care at scale, manage care protocols, and get transparency to data from the home.”
The home care industry will disrupt chronic care, Nudd says, because a large unskilled workforce can take over much of the management of high-utilization patients with a combination of functional limitations, multiple chronic conditions, and at-risk social determinants of health.
“The appearance of this kind of long-term home care on the scene will indeed be disruptive,” he said. “When you put an army of millions of caregivers in the field, no longer operating as an island but now connected to clinical protocols and operating according to clinical protocols and getting data back, that becomes just incredibly powerful.”
HomeConnect API is available now to ClearCare’s large enterprise customers and a version for smaller home care agencies is in beta.