Patriot at Home Seeks Reimbursement Changes

GIRARD – Patriot at Home has big goals for 2023. 

The company plans to expand its home health footprint in the Akron and Cleveland markets, launch its accredited home hospice division, expand telehealth capabilities, and build chronic disease management protocols to reduce hospitalizations and health care costs, says Greg Davis, one of the founders and co-owner.

The company is among is the largest providers of skilled home care in the Youngstown market, covering 10 northeastern Ohio counties. Patriot provides skilled in-home nursing, physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social work and skilled home health aides. It also provides in-home infusion services and visiting physicians.    

A priority in 2023 is collaborating with other home health providers across Ohio to lobby lawmakers to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates, Davis says.

Medicaid reimbursement rates have remained stagnant and, in some cases, are lower than in 1998, he notes. Inflation, on the other hand, has risen 82% since then, he says.

“At Patriot, Medicare is subsidizing Medicaid,” Davis says. “We lose about $800 per patient every time we admit a Medicaid patient.”

While Patriot is managing these challenges, many home care agencies have been forced to close or are no longer accepting Medicaid patients, according to Davis.

Meanwhile, the home health workforce isn’t large enough to accommodate demand, leaving home care agencies wondering who will remain to take care of Ohio’s aging population, he says.

“We are seeking critically needed increases that will help us hire and retain nurses and aides who can care for the influx of aging patients in Youngstown and throughout the state,” says Joe Russell of the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice. “The state of Ohio, in this budget cycle, has the opportunity to remedy that.”

Davis says Patriot at Home plans to dive deeper into analytics this year to better understand the company’s strengths and to identify areas for improvement.

Three military veterans established the company in 2012. Since then, Patriot has grown to 238 employees and averages 600 new home-care admissions each month, Davis says.

In 2022, Davis says Patriot at Home achieved significant milestones.

These accomplishments included recruiting an experienced group of hospice professionals, providing outpatient infusions in its new infusion center for chronic conditions and biologic drugs, and investing in software to drive better care and outcomes while improving efficiencies, Davis says.

Also last year, the company formed a nonprofit division, Patriot Cares. It provides resources and fills the gaps when there are needs that insurance will not cover and finances are not available.