Priority Health partners with Homeward for rural health care

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Courtesy Homeward

A new partnership looks to bring comprehensive care to people in areas where health care is harder to access. 

Grand Rapids-based health plan provider Priority Health recently entered a partnership with Homeward, a health care company providing at-home care and community mobile clinics to rural Americans.

Nationally, individuals in rural communities experience a 40% higher preventable hospitalization rate and a 23% higher mortality rate compared to those in urban communities. By expanding access to health care through Homeward’s care model, Priority Health aims to address the challenges of rural health care services by meeting individuals where they are to provide the care needed. 

“This partnership supports Priority Health’s longstanding commitment to bring innovative, personalized solutions to our members, while advancing our efforts to shift from the historical fee-for-service model to true value-based care,” said Carrie Kincaid, senior vice president of market development at Priority Health. “Rather than requiring members to travel far distances to receive care, Homeward’s innovative approach brings care to the member in their home and at convenient locations within the flow of their daily lives.”

Homeward combines mobile, community-based care with centralized clinical oversight and ongoing care management. The care provider’s teams conduct physical exams, perform basic diagnostic tests and, when needed, refer members to regional health systems and specialists if more complicated diagnostics are required. Homeward’s technology-enabled care model also includes cellular-based remote monitoring to keep patients connected to their multidisciplinary care team in between visits.

Homeward also takes accountability for outcomes and cost of care. This allows the company to deploy services and technology in ways that wouldn’t be possible in a traditional fee-for-service model. This approach helps patients engage with the health care system on their terms and better adhere to their care plans and manage their health without monetary concern.

As the initial phase of the partnership, Priority Health Medicare members in 14 Michigan counties can receive care from Homeward beginning this fall. Priority Health and Homeward plan to expand this offering across the state over time.

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