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Wellforce Partners with Home Health Provider

October 7, 2018

BURLINGTON -- Wellforce and Home Health Foundation announced a new partnership Monday, a move both organizations say will improve home health services. The partnership marks the creation of one of the largest home health hospice providers in the region, according to a press release.

Home Health Foundation is now one of the organizations under the umbrella of Wellforce. Other Wellforce partners include, Circle Health, Tufts Medical Center and Melrose HealthCare.

Wellforce CEO Norm Deschene said Home Health Foundation is one of the premier home hospice companies in the state. He said there is a greater need to provide opportunities for home health care as alternatives to costly hospitalizations.

“Personally, I’ve used home care in the past when I had to have home infusions and it saved me having to go to the hospital,” Deschene said. “It was a lot less expensive, a lot more convenient and I got great care. I think it’s part of the changing model of health care.”

Karen Gomes, CEO of Home Health Foundation, said the new partnership is exciting. For more than 120 years, the organization has bee providing home health services and hospice care in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. Until recently, Gomes said they have been a freestanding organization, but felt it was time to find a health-care system to partner with to further develop its programs.

“Being part of Wellforce will help strengthen Home Health Foundation and help us provide innovative programs,” Gomes said. “It will allow us to transition form traditional home health and hospice work and extend the walls of the hospital into the patients’ home in a way we’re not able to right now.”

Home Health Foundation has already integrated technology into its care services, according to Gomes. She said the organization is able to collect patient vital signs electronically, deliver high-tech treatments, like chemotherapy, in the home, communicate with patients via video and more.

“By being a partner with a health system, we expect to be able to enhance that level of care with technology, to the point where we may even be able to bring physicians in virtually to see patients via visual conferencing to be able to assess patients without them having to leave their homes,” Gomes said.

Home Health Foundation currently services 110 cities and towns throughout Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire and Maine. Gomes said they will now cover more of Wellforce’s geographic footprint, while remaining strong in their current areas of service. The long-term goal is to provide services to a wider area.

When seeking health care, Gomes said it is important that patients know there options and understand what they have access to. She said it falls in line with the goal of not only delivering exceptional care, but health care that is affordable.

“I think people are looking for more options and alternatives to being in a hospital,” Deschene said. “Nationally, we’re seeing home care get involved in providing hospitalization within someone’s home, being able to provide not only staffing but also the technology. It’s critical as we move forward to be able to offer a full continuum of services to our patients.”

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.

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