Reverence CEO and founder Lee Teslik.

The CEO and founder of a new digital healthcare startup has set his sights on improving a particularly thorny issue: transitions to home.

“It’s a really important moment within the context of the system and an underutilized one where there’s a lot of opportunity to make things better,” Lee Teslik, founder and CEO of Reverence Care Company, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse recently over coffee in St. Louis.

Teslik’s company launched in May with start-up capital of $9.5 million. The firm’s first order of business was buying another company, FlexForce, which had an automated scheduling platform, Hirehand.

“One of the most immediate things we could do to help make things better in the space was help provider groups crack some of the workforce challenges,” he said.

While the scheduling technology works with a variety of provider groups — from home health, home care, physical and occupational therapy, and long-term care facilities — to help manage personnel across locations, the bigger aim is to improve transitions to home.

“What we see more broadly is the moment at which someone transitions from the hospital or skilled nursing facility to the home-based care model is for them the time stuff breaks,” he said. “There’s a lack of operational coordination around the way things should happen.”

The time of discharge is pivotal, he noted.

“You have a captive audience in the family and the patient,” he said, adding that there also is a set of information regarding the patient and a care plan.

While just the discharge entity — hospital or skilled nursing facility — needs to be on the Reverence platform, anyone can be on the platform to make sure the care plan and related action items are being executed.

“We see the connectivity across all these people engaging that is fundamentally missing,” Teslik said. “That’s where we think the real unlock is in terms of getting ahead of stuff.”

Teslik has found a willing payer community. Medicare Advantage is reimbursing the services Reverence is coordinating, though Reverence is not receiving the payments directly. Traditional Medicare also reimburses for transitional management — an underutilized benefit, he said.  

He believes his service will be critical in the move to value-based care.

“There’ s a whole movement right now about getting [caregivers] paid more,” he said. “We like that idea, but our founding premise is Medicaid isn’t just going to pay more because someone asks. The way to get Medicaid to pay more is to show value … There’s a lot technology can do to facilitate that.”