Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation Announces 2019 Hillman Innovation Dissemination Grant to Housecall Providers

Leading model for vulnerable populations will develop tools to share expertise and nationally scale home-based primary, palliative, and hospice care

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

NEW YORK, July 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Affirming its commitment to scaling established nursing-driven interventions that target the needs of vulnerable populations, the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation (RAHF) today announced that it has made a $200,000 Hillman Innovation Dissemination grant to Housecall Providers/CareOregon (HP/CO).

The nursing-driven Housecall Providers model delivers interdisciplinary home-based primary care, hospice care, and palliative care services in the Portland, Oregon metro area. It is the only safety net health plan program in the country that serves people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid while focusing on advanced illness. Housecall Providers also continues to be a top-performing site in the Independence at Home Demonstration project administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Results from the first four years of the project showed that Housecall Providers generated an average savings of 27 percent when compared to the cost of care for a matched group of local individuals living with similar chronic conditions but not receiving home-based medical care.

“The team at Housecall Providers, in partnership with the community, has dedicated itself to addressing the multiple barriers to quality care for vulnerable populations living with serious illness. These include a lack of access, low health literacy, low income, stigma, and isolation,” says Ahrin Mishan, Executive Director of the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation. “Housecall Providers has identified evidence-based means to address these disparities and will share their knowledge with other interested providers to improve care for millions of disadvantaged people.”

Addressing disparities in care
The number of older people from minority communities is growing more than twice as quickly as the percentage of non-Hispanic whites (160 percent versus 59 percent.) Disparities in care are pronounced as well: In some low-income urban neighborhoods, the percentage of people who die having received hospice care is less than five percent, even though nationally nearly ten times as many Medicare beneficiaries (48 percent) were enrolled in hospice care at the time of their deaths. This problem is likely to get worse as the aging population grows faster than the palliative care workforce.

"The Hillman Innovation Dissemination grant augments what Housecall Providers has been doing for nearly 25 years: showing that nursing-led leadership and community care make all the difference for patients who need it the most, the homebound, the seriously ill, and the dying,” says Housecall Providers Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Ramsay, MPH, BSN. “The grant will allow us to distill and disseminate the lessons of our work to other programs and providers across the country."

Sharing experiences to support change and improve care
The Hillman Innovation Dissemination Program award will enable Housecall Providers to pursue two important steps toward scaling and replication. The first is creating a digital guide to capture the essential principles of this nursing-driven model of care. The second is to establish an online learning community to help other provider organizations—such as Medicaid health plans, hospices, advocacy organizations, health systems, and social service agencies—to benefit from Housecall Providers’ experience as they seek to formulate new care lines and ensure long-term financial sustainability.

“As our health care system places greater emphasis on value-based care, the demand for detailed instruction and guidance on how to deliver cost-effective care in the community is at a premium,” says Rachael Watman, Vice President of Programs at the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation. “Housecall Providers’ focus on the unique strengths of nursing makes it well suited to address the complex challenges of chronic care, vulnerable populations, and workforce shortages, and to inspire innovative partnerships.”

The Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of patients and their families through nursing-driven innovation. To this end, the foundation cultivates nurse leaders, supports nursing research, and disseminates new models of care that are critical to making the U.S. healthcare system more patient-centered, accessible, equitable, and affordable. The foundation’s goal is to leverage the power of nursing’s unique knowledge to ensure that the healthcare system can deliver the high-quality care patients need and deserve. For more information, please visit www.rahf.org.

Media Contact
Linda Le, Vice President of Operations, the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation
linda.le@rahf.org or 212-265-3115