By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Coastal Medical announced today that it has signed a preferred provider agreement with Visiting Nurse Home Care and Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, designating the two affiliated agencies as Coastal’s preferred providers for home care, palliative and hospice services.
Under the agreement, Coastal physicians will utilize the services of the two organizations for their patients in need of home care, palliative and hospice services. This agreement ensures that Coastal patients will have access to consistent, high-quality car, 24 hours a day, whenever and wherever they need it.
“As Coastal Medical works to develop an enhanced level of care in the home environment, we are partnering with leaders in the home care and hospice fields,” said Dr. G. Alan Kurose, Coastal Medical president. Coastal is Rhode Island’s largest primary care group practice, with more than 100 providers and 300 support staff, serving more than 110,000 patients in 18 locations.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, 53 patients were referred directly by Coastal for palliative home care, while another 114 patients were receiving hospice care, as a direct result of creating the new relationship between Coastal, Home & Hospice, and Visiting Nurse Home Care, creating a care continuum for all stages of life.
“Our model of coordinated care across the home care and hospice continuum is a perfect match for the patient-centered approach of Coastal Medical,” said Diana Franchitto, president and CEO of Home & Hospice. “Our established systems will allow for seamless and uninterrupted coordination of care for Coastal patients in need of home health, palliative and hospice services. We all are part of the same care team and that translates into tremendous benefit to the patient.”
In February 2012, Home & Hospice Care affiliated with Visiting Nurse Home Care establishing one comprehensive resource for high quality, home and hospice care services.
“We are a full-service agency,” said Donna M. Gouveia, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse Home Care. “We welcome the opportunity to meet the full range of home health needs for Coastal patients.”
Visiting Nurse Home Care is one of the oldest home health agencies in the region, making 80,000 home visits to more than 3,500 patients last year, providing a full range of home care services.
The new relationship is not financial and does not involve financial risk-sharing, according to both Franchitto and Gouveia. Rather, there are “obligations and commitments between the parties that focus on a high-level of communication and care coordination,” Franchitto said.
The three entities, Gouveia said, are joining forces “to decrease unnecessary re-hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes.”