Franciscan Alliance, whose hospitals operate under the name of Franciscan Health, has undertaken an initiative to reduce its 30-day readmission number following patients’ discharges from inpatient stays. An internal analysis revealed the lack of transportation as the second leading cause of readmissions, and the health system has partnered with Circulation to ease that barrier for patients.
Circulation provides a digital platform that coordinates convenient and reliable non-emergency medical transportation. Circulation currently serves more than 1,500 health facilities in 40 states, including hospital systems, clinics, dialysis centers, community health services, managed care organizations and integrated delivery networks.
Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic hospital systems in the Midwest and based in Mishawaka, Indiana, serves more than 1.4 million patients throughout Indiana and parts of Illinois and Michigan.
It’s estimated that more 3.6 million Americans miss appointments annually because of transportation issues, Circulation reports.
"Circulation’s partnership with Franciscan Alliance speaks to the integrated and patient-centric focus aligned with the values of both organizations,” Robin Heffernan, Circulation CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “This partnership is the most recent demonstration of how Circulation is managing patient logistics from hospital bedside through the cycle of care, extending into the patient's home and downstream to community providers. We are committed to turning better transportation into better outcomes for patients and excited to have Franciscan Alliance share our vision and passion.”
"As healthcare systems increasingly shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, we are implementing population health strategies targeting social determinants of health factors, like transportation, which account for up to 60 percent of healthcare spending,” Anthony N. Akosa, M.D., system medical director of Franciscan Care Management, said in a statement. “Studies have shown that 25 percent of patient no-shows are related to transportation and with Circulation, we can reduce that number significantly.”
The Circulation platform is designed to integrate outsourced transportation, owned fleets and medical logistics services. By consolidating these three typically disparate services, Circulation becomes a single access point for scheduling transportation, leading to improved efficiency and reducing all transportation costs.
The program includes 100 care managers and social workers involved in the discharge process. If transportation is identified as a barrier at discharge, a care manager will set up a ride to take the patient home. Further, a care manager can arrange transportation to and from future appointments with primary care providers.