Physical therapist talking to senior man sitting on a fitness ball at home

Just as isolation can be deadly to seniors, isolation can be deadly to home care and hospice agencies as well. That’s according to Lifespark CEO Joel Theisen whose Minnesota-based longitudinal care company is redefining senior living.

Value-based care will reward companies that connect seniors to a variety of services, including those that address activities of daily living, Theisen told McKnights Home Care Daily Pulse in a recent McKnight’s Home Care Newsmakers podcast. Agencies that offer only one service, such as home care or home health, will have difficulty competing as payers look to providers that offer a more holistic approach to care, he explained.

Joel Theisen, Lifespark

“I want home and community to win. I think that is where trust is and I think that is where the relationship is,” Theisen said. “Isolation is fatal. Partnerships are critical in order to deliver on a holistic, longitudinal relationship and experience that is teed up now with value-based services.” 

Lifespark is a tech-based holistic firm that provides older adults both in-home and facility-based senior living options. In the past year, the company has partnered with Tealwood Senior Living, which owns 23 senior living communities in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Envoy America, which provides transportation and companionship services to seniors. It also inked a deal with UCare, which allows Minnesota’s largest Medicare Advantage plan to access Lifespark’s population health operating system. 

Theisen said Lifespark began investing heavily in information technology five years ago in order to aggregate patient data.  He said data is becoming increasingly important to Medicare Advantage plans as they try to determine what services and providers offer them the best return on investment by keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital.

“They care about cost reduction and cost avoidance,” Theisen explained. “They do care about their relationship with the members, but the first thing that needs to happen is you need to show where you can quantify your results and quantify your value.” 

Theisen thinks a holistic approach to care also resonates well with many older consumers who want a variety of services married with technology that can keep them healthy at home or in a facility-based setting.