A joint venture, nonprofit home health care service will be coming to an end on January 1. This venture was put together by Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Tower Health, and UPMC Pinnacle. The three organizations mutually agreed to dissolve this partnership, but it isn’t expected that clients who are currently relying on home health care through Affilia Home Health will have to look elsewhere for services.
These three health systems will continue to operate services for those clients currently using them. In other words, people who are currently utilizing home care services through Affilia Home Health should not expect their services to be terminated.
According to Penn Live in the ‘Community News’ section in the blog Three health systems to end home healthcare nonprofit; will continue to provide services separately, written by Daniel Urie:
“The three health systems own and operate Affilia Home Health, a home healthcare agency. And while the three organizations have agreed to amicably dissolve the agency, all three organizations plan to continue to provide their own home health services. The three organizations said in a joint statement that there will be no interruption in care for existing Affilia patients. The three healthcare systems plan to issue updates over the next several weeks to Affilia’s patients.
Affilia offers at-home nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, medical social work and telehealth monitoring.”
The three health companies had originally begun their home care services independently and it appears as though they will be returning to that system of function instead of being a merged partnership. Tower Health was originally known as Reading Hospital & Medical Center. Tower Health and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health merged their services in 2003. Originally, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health was known as Lancaster General Health.
UPMC Pinnacle, which was originally known as PinnacleHealth merged with the previous two in 2012. It is unclear why these organizations have decided to separate after a long venture together. As home health care services has become the number one job creator with the highest demand, especially as the baby boomer generation retires, it may have been a simple matter of economics or it could have involved regulations that have been increasing, especially in light of the federal government placing increased pressure on hospitals to reduce readmission rates.
Home health care services is a valuable asset for hospitals and other medical practices to not only improve quality of care and support for patients after discharge, but to also reduce potential fines imposed by the federal government if readmission rates are not lowered.