In any segment of health care, constant moving parts can cause a headache for both workers and patients. What makes matters even worse is when there is no solid communication between workers within a care team.
Andre Gomez, the executive vice president of Bedrock Healthcare at Home, said he learned that the hard way during his first job in home health care almost 20 years ago. “When I got into the real world — especially in home health — I found out that the doctor doesn’t talk to the pharmacist, the pharmacist doesn’t talk to the therapist, the therapist doesn’t talk to the social worker,” Gomez told Home Health Care News. “I found out very quickly that we have a very fragmented and disjointed health care system that has been detrimental to the patient.”
Out of that frustration, Bedrock Healthcare at Home was born.
A New Jersey-based home-based care company, Bedrock Healthcare at Home includes a patient care medical group and a patient care specialty group, and offers home health, private duty home care, therapy, population health and other services to about 3,000 clients per year.
“We’re playing a team sport,” Gomez said. “The physician is the gatekeeper, they’re the quarterback, but everyone has a say when it comes to the care continuum. We believe that the future of health care and medicine is in the hands of those that integrate technology and biology.”
Workforce and technology investments
Investment in technology has been one of Bedrock’s core principles. It’s also hoping to better care for patients as they become more sick and complex when discharged to home health or other settings. “Everyone in health care is a primary care provider,” Gomez said. “Our therapists, dietitians, they’re all primary care providers. But our clinicians focus on being chronic care managers, and we utilize technology to do that so that we are continuously plugged into the patient.”
The national average for readmission rates from 2021 to 2022 hovered around 33%. Bedrock had a 9% readmission rate in its clinical practice. When it started to implement more technology, that readmission rate fell to 2.1%, according to Gomez. “Meaning that our seniors are allowed to thrive at home — not be readmitted and bouncing back and forth from the hospital to home,” he said. “It’s a model that we’re very proud of. Because we are part of a larger conglomerate, we have the financial muscle now to take that product national.”
Another efficiency-driven change Bedrock has keyed in on is making sure frontline workers are only focused on care. “We’ve inherited the most frail and the most unbelievably complex patient in the history of our industry,” Gomez said. “Yet we continue to deal with bureaucracy and tons of red tape when it comes to being in health care. What we’ve done is re-engineered the practice to make sure that the management team and the admin team take all of the bureaucracy away from clinicians. Our clinicians only have to focus on doing one thing: seeing patients and enhancing the bedside approach, and that’s it.”
Bedrock leaders believe that has contributed positively to the company’s culture. “Technology will never replace the healing touch, but it can be complemented,” Gomez said. “It’s just one example of our mission statement. We’re trying to change the habits of yesterday by creating the new health care reality of tomorrow.”