Hospital District considers contract with Allevant Solutions
December 12, 2019
POMEROY-The Garfield County Hospital District (GCHD) discussed contracting with Allevant Solutions, LLC for consulting services to strengthen the swing bed program, and get help with strategic planning during Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, December 2.
Allevant was scheduled to present an audio presentation at the meeting, but experienced technical difficulties which prevented them from making the presentation. It will be rescheduled at a later date, most likely at an open public meeting of the hospital district. Board Chairman, Cindy Wolf, recommended those in attendance to visit the website Allevant.com for information on the company.
According to their website, Allevant offers post-acute care solutions to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) as “a transitional care program centered on teamwork, communication and collaboration.” The company was developed through a joint venture of the Mayo Clinic and Select Medical Corp. Allevant helps CAH swing bed programs serve a “broader, more complex patient group” by assisting with training of hospital staff in new, more specialized skills needed for high-quality transitional care. This would allow the GCHD to “not only keep more local patients, but become a new kind of discharge destination” for patients referred by other hospitals nearby. Allevant also helps develop a marketing plan to attract referrals of those patients.
Commissioners Jen Dixon and Steve Cannon expressed concern over contract terms. Originally, Allevant quoted a price of $30,000 per month for their services, with a contract term of five years. Mat Slaybaugh, co-CEO, has negotiated a reduced price of $15,000 per month, including all of the services offered with the original quoted price, and a possible exit after 18 months if the contract has not been beneficial to the GCHD, or has proved to be too expensive. Slaybaugh believes that he may be able to negotiate even more flexibility with the timing of an exit within a shorter period. Another option for a $4,000 per month contract would not include the hands-on training component of the program.
Dixon stated doubt that the GCHD would actually pull patients from surrounding cities, and didn’t understand how a marketing plan could accomplish that feat. She also stated perhaps the hospital could build community confidence through their ability to care for these patients. Adding training, education, and the Mayo clinic connection would be a real asset for the hospital, but can the district can afford it? Will the hospital get the number of patients needed to make it financially feasible. Dixon asked if they increase the amount of monitoring needed for acute care patients, would the hospital building itself be able to handle the extra load on the electrical system. Jayd Keener, co-CEO assured her that side of the building could handle the load demand.
Jim Heilsburg, GCHD Chief Financial Officer, stated that some hospitals that have contracted with Allevant reported that their services have been beneficial. He is optimistic that an association with Allevant will increase the capabilities of the hospital staff, and lead to referrals from other facilities that have swing bed patients. He added that an increase in acute care Medicare patients will lead to an increased reimbursement from Medicare, stating “we have to strategically spend money to make money.”
Slaybaugh stated that it “won’t take a lot of patients to make a difference,” referring to the number of acute care patients the GCHD could gain from referrals through Allevant. He added with rehabilitation health care, there is a greater potential to draw new patients from the Pomeroy community. If the hospital gains a large number of patients, more staff would be needed. He said that Allevant representatives are willing to travel here for an onsite visit, and he offered to contact them to arrange it.