VNS Health TODAY | Spring 2022 | Volume 1, Issue 1

VNSNY Is Now VNS Health!

New Name and Branding Unites Organization and Simplifies Consumer Experience

VNS Health Home Care clinician caring for patient
VNS Health’s new name underscores that its mission to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations remains unchanged.
On May 18th, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) officially changed its name to VNS Health. The milestone move to the new name reflects how the 129-year-old organization has grown and evolved in recent decades, leading to the need for a broader, more integrated brand identity going forward.
“The name ‘VNS Health’ expresses, in a clear and powerful way, the multifaceted healthcare organization that we are today,” says Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health. “It honors our historic roots while uniting all of our business lines through the word ‘health,’ which is at the core of everything we do.”
The new VNS Health branding, which has been years in the planning, includes a new logo and tagline, a redesigned website, and renamed business lines, or “teams.” A new consumer advertising campaign was also launched to publicize the name change.
“Branding all of our offerings under the VNS Health name makes it easier for our patients, clients and members and their families to understand and access our different services, and also presents a clearer picture of the value we can bring to our partners and business customers,” explains Catherine Callaway, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Development. “With our many innovative programs—ranging from home care, hospice, behavioral health and personal care to our care management services, our health plans and our business-to-business professional solutions—we’ve become a ‘one-stop shop’ for people’s home health care needs. Now, these programs are all linked through a single, integrated, easy-to-remember brand: VNS Health.”
VNS Health health programs and services
VNS Health’s new name better represents the organization’s full range of health programs and services, listed above.
In addition to uniting VNS Health’s diverse array of products and services, the new branding supports the organization’s future goals for out-of-state growth. “While we always remain strongly committed to serving the residents of New York City and Nassau, Westchester and Suffolk counties, we also see significant opportunities for managing the care of individuals and providing solutions to healthcare organizations and health plans in states other than New York,” Savitt notes. “Our VNS Health branding aligns well with that vision.”
Most importantly, VNS Health’s new name and identity underscores that its mission remains unchanged. “Our aim is to continue expanding our role as one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit healthcare organizations over the next 125-plus years, in New York and beyond,” says Savitt. “As VNS Health, we’re ideally positioned to do that.”
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President and CEO Dan Savitt on Why VNSNY Changed Its Name to VNS Health

Dan Savitt, VNS Health CEO
On May 18th, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York became VNS Health. What prompted this change?
Coming together under a single brand—as VNS Health—is essential to our overall strategy. Over the decades since our founding as the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, we’ve evolved into a multifaceted organization with products and services operating under a number of different brand names. This was creating confusion for our consumers and our industry partners. Our rebrand cuts through that confusion by uniting all our programs and services within the VNS Health brand.
How will this benefit your patients and plan members as well as your partners in health care?
Our new branding simplifies how we’re perceived by our patients, members and their families, and makes it easier to understand and access the various services we offer. As VNS Health, consumers can clearly see we’re an organization with a broad range of home- and community-based services that can help support them at every stage of their healthcare journey.
Do you envision the VNS Health rebrand helping your internal operations as well?
Absolutely. For a number of years, we’ve been focused on breaking down silos within our organization and leveraging our different capabilities in a synergistic way, and our rebrand will be a huge help in that regard. While our individual business units were doing an excellent job in and of themselves, they weren’t always connecting well with each other. Coming together as a single organization is going to enhance our ability to collaborate internally.
How do you see the rebrand impacting your business-to-business offerings?
We’ve been administering Medicare and Medicaid plans successfully for over two decades. We’re now looking to draw on that experience and partner with health plans and other risk-bearing organizations that can benefit from our expertise and services. To make those partnerships work, though, we need to effectively explain who VNS Health is, and how we can be of help. A big part of our growth will be with our VNS Health Professional Solutions, whose role is to market our B2B products to health plans, state agencies, physician groups, hospitals, and so on. Our rebrand supports this strategy: Instead of being a collection of different brands, we’re now one united VNS Health, offering a range of different services—which leaves us ideally positioned to provide other health care organizations with our experience, and talk about those services and how we can work together to meet their needs.
Is VNS Health setting the stage for doing business outside New York?
We’ve been helping to reduce health disparities and close gaps in care among vulnerable communities since our founding, 129 years ago—and if we’re true to that mission, we would hope to expand the scope of the care we deliver. At the same time, we’re going to be very mindful of how we expand. Serving the New York City area will always be core to who we are. On the other hand, as a nationally recognized leader in home- and community-based care delivery and care management, we’re not limited by geography or clinical scope—and being known as VNS Health will definitely help with that.
What excites you most about the VNS Health rebrand?
I’m excited that it captures the totality of services, programs and solutions that we offer to our patients, members, their caregivers and our partners. As one organization, we will create new opportunities for our team members and better access to care for those we serve. I’m also excited that we’re nurturing an environment where every VNS Health employee feels connected to the broader organization and knows they’re critical to our success. Finally, I’m excited because our new VNS Health brand will do a better job of conveying that we’re more than just a nursing organization. To give just one example, we have almost 500 social workers providing incredible support out in the community, which many people don’t know about. I want everyone—especially those who are really struggling in multiple ways—to understand the breadth of our services, and to realize that we’re there for them in their healthcare journey, whatever their needs may be.
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New Analytic Tool Allows Health Plans to Accurately Measure a Member’s HHA Needs

VNS Health HELPS Chart
Thanks to the HELPS tool’s accuracy and ease of use, VNS Health nurses were three times more likely to follow the tool’s recommendations for home health aide support, compared to the tool used previously—resulting in a less subjective decision making process.
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, 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.”
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CHOICE Health Plans Are Being Renamed to Be a Part of VNS Health

VNS Health plan members
Most of VNS Health’s Medicare and Medicaid health plans will shift to their new branding on October 1st, while the SelectHealth plan will transition over the summer.   
Although all parts of VNSNY became VNS Health on May 18th, the formal shift of most of the organization’s Medicare and Medicaid health plans to their new VNS Health branding will occur on October 1st, while the SelectHealth plan will transition over the summer. Until then, the health plan division will continue to be known by its current name, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans.
The reason for the timing is simple: “We don’t want to confuse our plan members,” explains Dr. Hany Abdelaal, President, Health Plans. “Medicare members are used to seeing changes in their plans occur at the start of a new plan year. So it makes sense to change the plan names for 2023 and not before—which means we’ll roll out our rebrand in the fall, as we begin to market our 2023 Medicare products.”
As of October, VNS Health’s group of health plans will be referred to collectively as Health Plans from VNS Health. “Besides being more descriptive of who we are, our new branding clarifies our connection to VNS Health as an organization, which we believe will be appealing to potential members,” notes Dr. Abdelaal.
While the formal name changes are still months away, VNS Health is already sending preliminary communications to its health plan members and to the plans’ network providers, alerting them to the upcoming shift in branding.
“One point we’re emphasizing is that, aside from members getting new ID cards with the VNS Health name and logo, the rebrand won’t impact how any of the individual plans operate,” says Cindy Zanca, Vice President of Marketing for the health plans. “Our excellent benefits and superb member-centered care management will stay the same. Members will also work with their same plan representatives, who will have the same phone numbers.”
VNS Health’s focus on continually refining its health plans will also remain the same, adds Zanca. “We are always looking for ways to improve our benefits and coverage,” she notes, “and we anticipate adding some exciting enhancements to our plans for 2023!”
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VNS Health Home Care Receives a 4.5-Star Quality Rating from CMS

VNS Health Home Care clinician caring for patient
VNS Health Home Care received a best-ever 4.5-Star Quality of Patient Care score in CMS’s latest ratings. This score is based on patient outcomes over a range of important quality measures.  
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded VNS Health Home Care—the part of the organization that provides certified home health care services—a Quality of Patient Care rating of 4.5 Stars (out of 5 Stars). The rating, announced by CMS in its April 2022 quarterly update, improves on VNS Health Home Care’s strong 4-Star quality score in the preceding quarter.
“CMS’s Quality of Patient Care ratings are based directly on patient outcomes,” explains Jennifer Brullo, Senior Vice President, VNS Health Home Care. “Our 4.5-Star score from CMS is evidence of the consistently outstanding care we’re providing to our patients, and the positive impact that care is having on their overall health and well-being.”
“We take an organization-wide approach on patient care, and the steady rise in our home care quality scores shows the effectiveness of this strategy,” notes Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health. “This excellent 4.5-Star rating reflects both the skill and commitment of our frontline home care workers, and the great wrap-around support they are receiving from the rest of our organization, including our Quality, Education, Business Intelligence and Analytics, and IT groups.”
“As pleased as we are with this showing, we’re highly focused on continued quality improvement going forward,” adds Andria Castellanos, Executive Vice President and Chief of Provider Services. “Our new VNS Health name and branding will only strengthen our connection to our patients, clients and members, and it’s also going to facilitate our internal collaborations. We’re very excited about our future as one VNS Health!”
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New VNS Health Website Simplifies the Referral Process

The revamped VNS Health website
The revamped VNS Health website features a user-friendly portal for making online patient referrals.
I n addition to being the date when VNSNY officially became VNS Health, May 18 also marked the go-live date of the organization’s new website, Drawing on input from consumers and health care experts, the website’s user-friendly design allows VNS Health’s patients, members and health care partners to quickly find the information they need. Key features include:
•   A section for health care professionals with detailed information on making referrals to VNS Health; provider platforms; VNS Health Professional Solutions; and more.
•   Descriptions of all VNS Health programs, services and health plans, as well as payment options for different types of care.
•   Caregiver support services, including a Health Library with a wide range of articles for patients and their families.
•   A Community Calendar of upcoming health-related events from VNS Health.
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New VNS Health Advertising Campaign Focuses on Trust and Community Ties

New VNS Health Advertising Campaign
VNS Health’s new TV commercials feature the message: VNS Health is more than just a health care team—they’re your neighbors.
To share the news that VNSNY is now VNS Health, a new consumer advertising campaign introducing the organization’s rebranding to the New York community kicked off on May 18th.
“The advertising focuses on the warm, compassionate and trusting relationships between our patients and health plan members and our own team,” says VNS Health’s Catherine Callaway, Senior Vice President for Marketing and Development. “We highlight the uniqueness of VNS Health, our range of services and health plans, and how we provide care and support in the home and community—all while showing the diversity of our team members and the communities we serve. At the heart of this advertising is the message to consumers that we’re more than just a health care team—we’re their neighbors.”
The campaign, which is scheduled to run throughout the New York metro area from now through December, will include TV commercials and, later this year, radio spots, as well as outdoor and online advertising and social media. “Consumers will see this advertising right where they live—on the TV shows they watch, and throughout their neighborhoods on the sides of buses and even the tops of taxis,” notes Amy Margolis, Vice President, Marketing.
The television advertising will run on morning shows and local news, cable TV, and streaming channels such as TLC, ESPN and Hulu. VNS Health online ads will also be seen on websites such as AARP and WebMD. The campaign’s reach will be further augmented by digital and social media posts in English, Spanish and Chinese.
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