WellSpan SpiriTrust partnership in works

A WellSpan Health and SpiriTrust Lutheran partnership is trying to improve access and drive down costs for area residents needing high-quality home care and hospice services, the two health-care organizations said this week.

They have been collaborating for years, but during the challenges of COVID-19, they realized the significance of their partnership.

Sometimes, when a patient is ready to be discharged from the hospital, they still need expert, skilled care, WellSpan said. Sometimes they need home care, and sometimes they need the comforts of hospice care. That’s where SpitiTrust Lutheran comes into the picture.

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Through the partnership, they have improved access to make sure patients get the right care, at the right time, at the right place.

So they built on that relationship and developed a patient Transition of Care Model, their leaders say.

“We are committed to increasing access to high-quality care as part of our goal to lead the region in value,” WellSpan President/CEO Roxanna Gapstur said.

SpiriTrust Lutheran provides home care and hospice services in communities served by both organizations. The goal is to improve overall health and well-being of people, especially older adults, SpiriTrust CEO Robert L. Rundle said.

“By uniting the expertise of both organizations, we are accelerating a value-based approach through the continuum of care,” Gapstur said.

The partnership helps both organizations leverage their collective strengths in home and community-based services and senior living options, while ensuring the highest quality of care in the most cost-effective manner, Rundle said.

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How the WellSpan-SpiriTrust partnership happened

Clinical teams from SpiriTrust Lutheran and WellSpan began working together in 2015 to develop the Transition of Care Model. The goal is to prevent health complications when patients are moved from hospital to a skilled care center and back home.

In 2016 the joint clinical team introduced the model at SpiriTrust Lutheran, The Village at Shrewsbury. Since that time, other SpiriTrust Lutheran skilled care centers have implemented the model.

At times throughout the past year, WellSpan Health has advised SpiriTrust Lutheran on various components of its COVID-19 response.

A WellSpan physician also serves as medical director for three SpiriTrust Lutheran Life Plan Communities (LPC). Other WellSpan physicians provide primary and specialty care for a significant number of residents at the six SpiriTrust Lutheran LPCs located in Adams, Franklin and York counties.

The two organizations officially entered into the formal agreement on November 20, 2020. Joint planning efforts are underway to address the specifics of how these two healthcare organizations will work together to offer home care and hospice services, as well as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

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About WellSpan Health

WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization includes a clinically integrated network of approximately 2,600 physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs). That number includes more than 1,600 employed physicians and APPs; a regional behavioral health organization; a home care organization; eight respected hospitals; approximately 20,000 employees; and more than 200 patient care locations.

About SpiriTrust Lutheran®

SpiriTrust Lutheran® began serving the community in 1951 by providing outreach services to families and seniors in York County. Today, SpiriTrust Lutheran provides senior living options in Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Hanover, Shrewsbury and York; home health care, hospice care and in-home support; and a program designed to enhance the ability of seniors to live safely in their homes.

SpiriTrust Lutheran’s service area includes Adams, Berks, Carbon, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties in Pennsylvania and Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties in northern Maryland.