Compassus last week announced that David Grams is taking the helm as the company’s new CEO. Grams recently connected with Hospice News to delve deeper into the company’s strategies for navigating an evolving payment landscape, staffing shortages and shifts in the delivery of care during a pandemic.
A portfolio company of the private equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners and the health system Ascension Health, Compassus operates more than 200 community-based hospice, palliative and home health care services locations in 30 states.
Grams has been with Compassus since 2020 as president, overseeing the company’s strategic direction, growth, innovation and clinical and financial performance. As he steps into a new leadership role, investing in the company’s workforce and technology systems will be priorities, building on work that Compassus began during the past year, Grams told Hospice News. Staffing, quality-driven patient outcomes and payer partnerships will be key to the company’s strategic plans as it leverages a “full continuum” of care in a changing environment, according to Grams.
When Compassus announced the leadership change, you expressed interest in investing in a clinical workforce, model and technology processes aimed at driving quality outcomes. Can you expound upon these areas of focus and the investments the company will be pouring into them?
My first focus is streamlining processes and collaboration methods to serve our patients better and ensure our priorities are supported with the highest level of quality and excellence they deserve. We have executive leaders and their teams aligned in two priority areas: a clinically focused operational excellence team and a technology- and partnership-focused product excellence team.
In regards to the clinical workforce, we made good progress in 2021 and will continue to invest in our people to ensure we have the best, most engaged and committed teams through enhancements to benefits, new programs that offer increased flexibility and professional development opportunities. Each team member has an important role to play in supporting the Compassus care culture as we pursue excellence in every aspect of our business and our patients’ care.
What types of technology are you considering?
We’re making technological investments in our predictive analytics capabilities to drive clinical decision-making and improve patient outcomes through our exceptional care model, which is a standardized, reproducible model of care to achieve better outcomes that align with each patient’s goals and preferences.
Our telehealth platform is another area of focus. Virtual encounters can be time- and cost-effective for certain interactions to complement in-person care. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how effective telehealth can be as an additive component of the overall care plan to connect patients and families with the answers and information they need.
What are the company’s growth plans on the horizon? Hospice has been a historic focus, according to previous CEO James Deal. Will it be a key in expansion going forward?
Today Compassus is a leading provider of home-based care that includes home health, infusion, palliative care and hospice. We see rising demand for all types of home-based care. It’s the preference of most patients and the industry continues to shift care to the lowest-possible acuity setting.
We look forward to further leveraging our expertise in delivering a full continuum of post-acute care — from standard home health care, complex and advanced illness management, to the compassionate end-of-life care that has been the roots of the company for more than 15 years.
How do you see value-based care shifting the health care landscape? Where does hospice fit into that landscape for Compassus? What moves do you anticipate making as value-based care evolves?
Value-based care has changed the landscape of the health care industry and the cost of care for patients at the end of life is very high. We offer an industry-leading, integrated home-based care solution in partnership with a growing number of health systems and other partners to better manage the care of patients with serious or advanced illness to reduce the cost as well as improve the quality of care.
We plan to continue to build our partnership portfolio to transform person-centered, home-based care that delivers both value and clinical excellence.
How will you be driving payer partnerships forward? What are the strategies you’re employing in that regard?
Health systems and payers alike are working to support efficient, high-quality care delivery. We will continue to expand partnerships that align our approach to exceptional home-based care with the goals and interests of our partners across the patient care journey.
Can you expand upon how Compassus plans to leverage service diversification and/or a continuum of care model in times ahead?
Transitions of care can make or break a patient’s journey toward high-quality outcomes. We’ve already built a suite of services that allows Compassus to own home-based care transitions so we can ensure our patients move seamlessly through the continuum of home-based, advanced illness, and end-of-life care they want and deserve.
We are continually looking at opportunities to complement our current service offerings, and [we are] committed to forging strategic partnerships that increasingly allow us to own transitions from acute-care and other settings to promote superior outcomes.
Holly Vossel is a word nerd and a hunter of facts with reporting roots sprouting in 2006. She is passionate about writing with an impactful purpose, and developed an interest in health care coverage in 2015. A layered onion of multifaceted traits, her personal interests include book reading, hiking, roller skating, camping and creative writing.