Western Pennsylvania Guide to Good Health
Departments Health Links Calendar Archived Issues Media Kit Contact Us
  Senior Care Senior Living Camps & Activities for Special Needs Children Ask the Expert  
  Article    
 

New Joint Venture Combines Home Health and Hospice Assets in Western PA
By Daniel Casciato

Bill GammieThis past fall, officials of Allegheny Health Network and Celtic Healthcare's hospice and home health operations in Western Pennsylvania announced the formation of a joint venture combining each organization's home health and hospice assets in western Pennsylvania to create a new, fully integrated provider of post-acute care services. "This expansion allows us to provide a higher level of support with specialized programs for our customers," says Bill Gammie, president of the new joint venture, which is still in the process of being named. "Not only will our current programs be strengthened, but it will add new specialized programs and activities which will provide a more robust continuum of care in regards to health, hospice, and community-based services. This will help us provide better and higher level of care in the community."

Founded in 1995, Celtic Healthcare is a comprehensive, Medicare-certified skilled home health and hospice service organization with operations throughout Western, Central and Northeast Pennsylvania, Montgomery and Baltimore counties in Maryland, and parts of Missouri and Illinois. This joint venture contributes only its Western Pennsylvania locations.

This new Hospice and Home Health Joint Venture will provide a complete spectrum of home health, palliative and hospice services across its Western Pennsylvania geographic footprint, including medical, surgical, wound and mental health nursing; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social services, dietitians and home health aides; palliative care; and physical, emotional and spiritual end-of-life hospice care and support. Celtic currently employs about 175 people in the greater Pittsburgh region and Allegheny Health Network employs about 200 in its home care and hospice divisions. All will be united as employees of the joint venture and branded under an AHN name that is soon to be finalized.

With Medicare and payment reform moving toward an integrated delivery model, Gammie believes they will be prepared to operate more successfully in that environment as a result of this joint venture.

"We've been looking for different ways to support or become a part of a health system that shared a similar vision of how to benefit in this changing landscape," he says. "We found this with AHN and built momentum as we started talking about our goals. AHN has been moving rapidly towards creating a strong post-acute network. They have a vested interest and a forward-thinking strategy around post-acute care design and supporting the care continuum needs of current and future payment models. Since we had similarities and a shared vision, we knew a partnership would have been wise."

As 2015 begins with this new partnership firmly in place, Gammie knows there will be some challenges, particularly in making sure the organization is in a continuous state of improvement because of the various changes in the healthcare industry.

"You have payment pressures, structural pressures, regulations, integration and challenges in all of that," he says. "Through all of the changes and everything happening, managing the culture in the organization is becoming increasingly important. We founded the company when there were significant changes happening at the time in the industry as well. By performing at high levels that meets the needs of each of these areas, we can improve our ability to perform well in the marketplace."

Based on Congressional budget reports, post-acute care is quickly increasing in the cost areas of Medicare. One of those reasons is because the care is not coordinated. When that occurs, what results is a higher cost and a lower quality of care, notes Gammie.

"The ultimate goal was to bring all of our services together with the idea that it is going to provide a better service for the patient at an affordable cost," says Gammie. "Our partnership will allow both organizations to evolve into a more coordinated post-acute continuum which in turn will yield lower cost, and a higher quality of care. This will ultimately impact the patient and the families who require those services in a good way."

For more information, visit www.ahn.org.

Return to Top



Westmoreland County Special Edition Download a PDF version Advertise Subscribe for FREE
Subscribe to GTGH

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Focus

Scott and Christie

CMS Housing – Apartments

Doterra

WR Cameron Wellness Center

Medicare Specialists of Pittsburgh

East End Food Coop

Reserve This Space | Call 412-835-5796 or email goodhealthmag@aol.com


Western Pennsylvania Guide to Good Health. All rights reserved.


Send email to goodhealthmag@aol.com