BURLINGAME, Calif. (February 21, 2019)—CareLinx Inc., the leading nationwide online home caregiver network, today announced its acquisition of the Optimal Aging program from Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH), one of the nation’s largest health systems. The acquisition was effective as of February 5, 2019. Developed by PSJH's Digital Innovation Group, Optimal Aging brings together non-clinical partner services—such as homecare, personal care, transportation and meal support—to help older adults age safely in their homes. The program began operations in the Seattle area in February 2016, and has since expanded to the Oregon tri-county region. To date, the program has connected and supported more than 6,700 older adults. CareLinx has been the key technology and service partner of Optimal Aging since the program launch in 2016. This acquisition allows CareLinx to leverage Optimal Aging's intellectual property to seamlessly enhance their partnerships with large payers and providers that share the aim of lowering readmission rates through established care management and transition programs.

"There's no question that Optimal Aging has had a positive effect on the lives of thousands of older adults, and we're very proud to be welcoming the program into the CareLinx family," said Sherwin Sheik, president and CEO of CareLinx. "We know firsthand the importance of in-home care and support, and the difference that it makes to the people who receive it. The Providence St. Joseph Health team should be congratulated for pioneering such a forward-thinking program."

CareLinx is an online homecare platform and a long-term partner of Optimal Aging. The company matches professional caregivers with the elderly, individuals with disabilities and people with chronic health conditions, while its digital platform helps families and caregivers easily manage administrative tasks as well as seamless care coordination.

"We developed Optimal Aging because we saw that aging adults were no longer able to live in their homes safely by themselves, and when we delved into the problem we found a significant opportunity to help our patients with personal and domestic needs that impacted their well-being but weren't clinical in nature," said Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital officer for Providence St. Joseph Health. "We believe the Optimal Aging model for helping adults age in place can be successfully scaled to reach more people and that CareLinx has the reach and depth of expertise for where the program needs to grow."

Reducing Readmissions

Most recently, Optimal Aging has run a pilot program as Providence St. Joseph Health's post-discharge readmission reduction partner, in an effort to better-address the social determinants of health as well as provide actionable insights for the care management team. That pilot program consisted of following 100 Providence St. Joseph Health Medicare Advantage members with similar admission diagnoses (such as sepsis, COPD and heart failure) over the course of a 7-month period in 2018. During that time, the pilot group received in-home visits from CareLinx caregivers as well as check-in phone calls; the program has reported positive preliminary findings. Although the size of the pilot did not allow for statistical significance, there was a trend of decreased hospital readmissions in this group over a 30-day episode post discharge. Only 16 percent of participants were readmitted, as compared to a typical re-admittance for a similar period in 2017 of 23 percent. This equates to a readmissions drop of 43 percent.

"The early results of the 2018 Optimal Aging readmission reduction pilot program are very encouraging. The decrease in hospital readmissions is clearly an outcome of better in-home care and support for the daily lives of the program's participants," said Sheik. "We're thrilled with the pilot program's findings and see this as a promise of even more successful outcomes for CareLinx customers in the future."

The Optimal Aging program by CareLinx will continue to integrate health systems across the health care ecosystem to provide the last mile of care, lowering overall costs and improving patient outcomes. Specifically, the program offers a one-stop shop for trusted and affordable services to help older adults stay in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible.

The Optimal Aging array of services will continue to complement the offerings already provided by CareLinx. This plan and hospital experience demonstrates CareLinx's ability to flex and partner across the entire health care ecosystem to deliver lower costs and deliver improved patient results.

Customers previously served under the Providence St. Joseph Health Optimal Aging program will continue to be served under CareLinx.

Visit optimalaging.carelinx.com for more information.