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Highmark, naviHealth bring Pa. seniors enhanced care following hospital stays

May 21, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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After a hospital stay, many seniors are discharged to a nursing home, long-term care facility or back to their own homes. For Pennsylvania residents who are Medicare Advantage members, this period of post-hospital care will now be more personalized.

Highmark Inc., the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer in the U.S., has announced a three-year partnership with naviHealth, a leading post-acute care management company.

According to a press release posted on Highmark's website, naviHealth will utilize decision-support technology and its post-acute analytics platform to coordinate long-term acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility utilization as well as oversee proper care transitions to and from these facilities. Onsite care coordinators will ensure that members and their caregivers understand and have been educated about the post-acute care options that are available. This service will become part of Medicare Advantage members' existing benefit plans beginning on Aug. 1 at no additional charge.

"This service will ensure that our members are receiving the right care in the setting that is most appropriate for their continued recovery," said Donald R. Fischer, MD, Highmark's chief medical officer. "This partnership is another way we're serving as a leader and differentiating ourselves by being the first in our market to offer this innovative care delivery approach.

"The service will improve overall health outcomes for our members and increase efficiency through the post-acute care network," Fischer added. "It offers support to the caregiver by helping them make informed decisions during what can be a stressful time, as well as improving the overall health and longevity of our members by ensuring they receive the care they need."