Recently, a Landmark Health provider scaled the steps of a low-income apartment in San Diego to provide care to an elderly woman with severe lung disease. The provider himself, a recently retired flight surgeon from the US Air Force, was not aware that this routine house call marked a significant milestone in the history of the company—Landmark’s 200,000th house call.
As a young healthcare company, Landmark providers began seeing patients in upstate New York in 2014. Now, less than four years later, we serve patients in communities coast-to-coast, greeting our patients at their own front doors.
Seeing the Need
Landmark’s founders recognized a problem with the current healthcare system in the United States, and the ability for that system to function for an aging population.
“The problem we saw was that our healthcare system doesn’t meet the needs of our most vulnerable,” states Carol DeVol, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder. “Particularly for those individuals who are chronically ill, have multiple comorbidities and difficulty getting to the doctor.”
Older, frail, vulnerable patients—who are often homebound—do not receive adequate health care. When they do get care, it’s often an urgent and costly episode. For these patients, an urgent episode could result in an extended hospital stay with discharge to a skilled nursing facility.
Beyond the expense of this facility-based care scenario, there is an emotional cost for patients and caregivers alike. Watching aging loved ones moved from place to place, when it’s clear they want to be home, can be heartbreaking.
Building a Solution
“Our solution to that was to bring the systems, the procedures, the teams, to the patients where they’re at 24/7,” commented Michael Le, MD, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder.
The idea of bringing back the house call sounds simple. But bringing house calls to the sickest of the sick, those with multiple chronic health conditions, is a complex task. The Landmark model is an integrated approach to home-based medicine from the perspectives of operations, analytics, technology and culture. The challenge is to provide high-quality care, while changing the cost profile of caring for this high-need population.
As a risk-based provider group, Landmark focuses on outcomes that show overall improved health and lower cost of care. The company is seeing these results, with 30% reductions in avoidable hospital admissions and patients who are living longer and more independently.
Making an Impact
“Landmark is the best thing that has ever happened to me. To know that to wake up—and I am disabled—if I don’t feel well and think, ‘Now what do I do? Who do I call?’ I can call Landmark! I know someone will communicate with the right person….They are exceptional at what they do.” – Patient
“It’s been huge for our family. Before Landmark, we had to take mom out to the hospital or call an ambulance so many times. Now, I don’t have to take her out in the ice and the snow and all that, which is a huge risk for her.”
– Family member
“Not only are we transforming health care, but we’re touching the lives of our patients, their loved ones, their caregivers and the community at large,” Eric Van Horn, Chief Business Officer.
Landmark receives many stories of gratitude from patients and caregivers. Those notes and phone calls keep Landmark’s employees motivated.