The Future Leaders Awards program is brought to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize up-and-coming industry members who are shaping the next decade of senior housing, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care. To see this year’s Future Leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.
Nicholas D’Addabbo, vice president of strategy at Innovive Health, has been named a 2022 Future Leader by Home Health Care News.
To become a Future Leader, an individual is nominated by their peers. The candidate must be a high-performing employee who is 40 years old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to put vision into action, and an advocate for seniors and the committed professionals who ensure their well-being.
D’Addabbo sat down with HHCN to talk about the bright future of home health care, the underutilization of those services and the journey that led him to the space.
HHCN: What drew you to this industry?
D’Addabbo: Home health care was initially a black box for me. I began my professional career in health care working on the back of an ambulance as an EMT in both urban and rural settings in the U.S. I loved the opportunity to be challenged with how to treat a patient in just a matter of minutes.
One thing, though, became clear: the medical treatment of patients with behavioral health diagnoses tended to be tunnel-visioned by the behavioral diagnosis, leading to poorer medical outcomes for this population.
When I came across my current employer, Innovive Health, I saw that by managing patients with complex and comorbid physical and behavioral diagnoses at home, we were able to develop rapport that led to success with these patients living independently, staying out of the emergency department and having barriers to successful clinical outcomes being identified and tackled further upstream.
It became very clear to me how various pieces of the health care continuum puzzle fit in with one another and how delivering care in the home — whenever possible — not only results in better clinical outcomes, but also more satisfied patients.
What’s your biggest lesson learned since starting to work in this industry?
Home health care is too often an underutilized tool. It is important to note that the use of services, like skilled nursing at home, can impact downstream costs and reduce the unnecessary utilization of high-cost care.
This is imperative for any entity in a decision-making position around total cost of care to realize and account for when formulating benefits packages, deciding what services a patient is discharged with or whom to make a referral to when skilled support is identified as a need following an ambulatory visit.
If you could change one thing with an eye toward the future of home-based care, what would it be?
Revisiting the administrative burden that accompanies home-based care and removing red tape and barriers to access that are unique to home-based care.
Many regulations are antiquated and fail to account for the paradigm shift of where care is and can be delivered.
It’s time to revisit those and consider: patient preference; advances in technology; the overall aging population building a larger top-of-the-funnel when it comes to health care demand; and staffing shortages.
What do you foresee as being different about the home-based care industry looking ahead to 2023?
Two things: I think health care organizations in general are going to need to evaluate how we deliver care with more innovative staffing models and a more transient workforce. More patients than ever want to have flexibility around where and how care is delivered.
While there’s been an indisputable rise in virtual care, I also think the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that there’s a lot of value in patients forming face-to-face relationships with their providers for longer-term management of their health, so I don’t foresee a decrease in demand for care in an ambulatory environment.
I do see patients with ongoing care needs evaluating their options, though, and those paying the bill evaluating cost. This is where the home care industry will need to continue to innovate and be creative about services that can be delivered in the home and where regulation will need to be changed to support that.
2023 will – hopefully – be a stabilizing year for health care as we emerge from the instability created by COVID-19 and the time for positive change to be created in the home-based care industry.
In a word, how would you describe the future of home-based care?
If you could give advice to yourself looking back to your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?
Get creative and figure out how to move quickly.
I would tell my past self that global change that will force innovation is on the horizon and organizations that are successful will embrace technology in a way that allows them to inform clinical pathways and treatment, enables seamless exchange of information between care teams and reduces overall costs.
Mentor the generation of leaders and learners who will come after you, but most importantly and above all else, listen and learn.
Listen to others’ ideas, listen to your employees, listen to your patients, listen to those who are smarter than you. The right idea or the keys to success are somewhere around you and listening with intent will allow you to find them.
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