New Analytic Tool Allows Health Plans to Accurately Measure a Member’s HHA Needs

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve patient and member outcomes through innovation, VNS Health is continuing to expand its professional solutions—a set of offerings designed to deliver critical business, technology and care management tools to health plans and other healthcare organizations.

Its latest B2B product, available starting August 1st 2022, is HELPS (Hours Evaluation for Paraprofessional Support), an application developed in-house by VNS Health that uses artificial intelligence to automatically determine a plan member’s home health aide (HHA) needs, based on their Uniform Assessment System (UAS) results.

“By instantly translating UAS data into consistent, evidence-based recommendations, this intuitive and easy-to-use tool provides a highly accurate guide for nurses and other clinicians, allowing them to quickly design individualized care plans that align with member needs,” explains Kelly Cavin, Vice President, Clinical Operations.

In the past two years, the rate at which VNS Health nurses rely on HELPS to prepare their plans of care has more than tripled, resulting in over 70,000 successful assessments of VNS Health plan members. HELPS holds particular value for managed long-term care (MLTC) plans, which are heavy utilizers of HHA services. “Because HELPS reduces the role of clinicians’ subjective judgment,” says Cavin, “the tool makes it easier for plans to focus on ‘outlier’ cases that diverge from the algorithm’s prescriptions, giving them much more control over utilization.”

At the same time, she adds, “Care managers and the members they serve can be confident that their number of recommended HHA hours is based on solid clinical evidence, so the consumer experience is significantly improved as well.”

HELPS is the first of many clinical and operational tools that VNS Health anticipates offering to other healthcare organizations, notes David O’Malley, VNS Health’s Senior Vice President for Product Strategy. “We have a robust product development process in place, with a number of impactful projects in the pipeline,” he says.

“We are also strengthening our portfolio of business-to-business services, including behavioral health interventions and health plan administrative support,” says O’Malley. “We see our B2B products and services as important opportunities to expand the reach of VNS Health’s mission, by leveraging our expertise to provide more people with access to the essential health care they need.”