Why Intermountain looked 1,400 miles away for its home health partner

Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare recently formed a joint venture, known as Homespire, with Minneapolis-based home health provider Lifesprk.

Here are five reasons why Intermountain is tapping into a home health provider with expertise in a market 1,400-plus miles away.

1. Beginning May 1, Salt Lake City-based patients could begin receiving private-pay home care, like nonmedical services that are necessary for daily living, under Homespire. The JV plans to expand its services throughout Utah during the next year.

2. Utah is on the brink of doubling its senior population in the next 25 years. To cut healthcare costs and rehospitalization among this population, Intermountain eyed Lifesprk, which experienced success in a senior-heavy market. The company has seen revenue climb 20 percent annually, and about 75 percent of Lifesprk's revenue is private pay, the home health provider's CEO Joel Theisen told Home Health Care News.

3. Kim Henrichsen, MSN, RN, senior vice president of clinical operations and chief nursing executive for Intermountain, said, "Lifesprk, which is a 14-year-old company that's served more than 14,000 clients in Minnesota, has a proven model that delivers on our mutual vision of enabling seniors to remain in their homes longer by living healthy, independent lives."

4. The Homespire JV will copy Lifesprk's care model, which teams each patient with a registered nurse who offers 24/7 on-call care. Under the model, Lifesprk reduced emergency room visits by 47.8 percent and docked hospital visits by 56.8 percent.

5. While Homespire is only about a month into operations, the JV said it has lowered care costs by $2,500 a month, according to HHCN.

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