Visiting Nurses Group Launches New Nonprofit
A new parent organization will bring together all segments of the home-based care industry to advocate for better resources and recognition.
With 10,000 baby boomers enrolling in Medicare each day and 87 percent of American seniors preferring in-home care, the Visiting Nurse Associations of America took a step to better advocate for and unite the home-based care industry.
After almost two years of planning, VNAA launched a parent 501(c)(6) organization called ElevatingHOME, under which VNAA will be a charitable subsidiary organization. ElevatingHOME will gather industry experts to advance cost-effective, high-quality, patient-centered home healthcare.
“The overarching benefit will be stronger advocacy on behalf of the role of home-based care. All of our members will benefit from that across all categories,” said Tracey Moorhead, president and CEO of ElevatingHOME and VNAA. “VNAA as a 501(c)(3) was restricted in the amount of advocacy that we could undertake, and that is one of the critical reasons for the launch of ElevatingHOME: to free ourselves from the restrictions placed on our advocacy levels as a 501(c)(3).”
Moorhead explained that in-home healthcare services can be provided effectively and less expensively, but aren’t considered as viable an option as inpatient care. Increased advocacy can draw the needed attention and resources to support the home-based care industry.
“[The home is] a place folks might go after the individual consumers might be sick, for care after they’ve had a hospitalization, rather than utilized to keep them out of the hospital in the first place,” she said. “We believe that the home is a place where we can better care for individuals to manage their chronic conditions, to provide prevention and wellness services, to keep them out of the hospital, and to prevent exacerbation of existing conditions.”
ElevatingHOME’s membership model will include three categories: provider members consisting of service providers and agencies like hospice or palliative care companies; partner members made up of corporations providing products and services like consulting or vaccinations; and allied members composed of trade associations, consumer advocacy organizations, or academic institutions.
ElevatingHOME will bring together industry players, like founding member Council of State Home Care Associations, “who recognize that value of home-based care and want to help us advocate on behalf of a better role, a more central role for home-based care,” Moorhead said.
VNAA’s board began considering ways to represent and unite the entire industry in June 2015, largely because VNAA only represented a segment of home-based care. The process of establishing ElevatingHOME involved winning member approval, creating the governance structure and legal documents, and seeking counsel from leading experts across the industry.
With its initial advocacy efforts, ElevatingHOME will focus on demonstrating how home-based care meets patients’ needs, developing and distributing best practices, raising the public and private support for patients and their families, and working on effective financial models for the industry.
“Most patients—seniors, but others too—prefer to receive medical care at home when possible, but the current healthcare delivery system design is organized around costly and sometimes unnecessary hospital stays,” ElevatingHOME Board Chair Joseph Scopelliti said in a press release. “When people can receive the care they need in their own homes, amidst familiar surroundings with family and friends nearby, they often have better health outcomes at lower costs.”