Atrium Health has entered into a three-year partnership with Best Buy Health to create new home-based acute care offerings and enhance its hospital-at-home program.
A part of Advocate Health, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Atrium Health spans 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. The nonprofit health system launched its at-home hospital program in 2020, during the early surges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the program has grown to include care for other conditions, including pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The health system has now inked a deal with Best Buy Health to combine its clinical expertise and the retailer’s technology to improve the patient experience and outcomes associated with hospital-at-home care.
The organizations will “co-design new capabilities that will greatly improve the current hospital at home experience for patients, caregivers and care providers,” said Diana Gelston, chief commercial officer at Best Buy Health, in an email. “It will build on Atrium’s already successful hospital at home program, which is the largest in the country and has already served more than 6,300 patients.”
Through the partnership, Atrium Health will gain access to Best Buy Health’s at-home care platform, which the latter added to its portfolio through a $400 million acquisition of Current Health in 2021. The platform integrates patient-reported data with information from biosensors, including the company’s continuous monitoring wearable device, to provide real-time insights into a patient’s condition.
“Our surveys show high levels of patient satisfaction for our hospital at home experience, and the use of virtual care is a valuable tool in our efforts to eradicate both economic and geographic disparities in accessing health care services,” said Rasu Shrestha, MD, chief innovation and commercialization officer at Advocate Health, in the news release. “Together with Best Buy Health, we will combine our strengths to provide better outcomes and equitable access for patients who will receive their care in the home. This will also allow for a more successful and seamless process for the providers caring for them.”
As part of the program, Atrium Health community paramedics are dispatched to patients’ homes to provide in-home care services when needed. Patients are connected with social workers if social determinants of health challenges are identified.
Further, the partnership will leverage Best Buy’s Geek Squad to provide technical support and patient education regarding the technology used in the home.
The partnership exemplifies Best Buy Health’s goal of facilitating patient-provider connections.
“We want to enable that care,” said Gelston at an Xtelligent Healthcare Media summit keynote session last July. “We want to make those connections from patient to physician. We don’t want to make care judgments for that patient. Let’s leave that in the hands of the experts.”
According to a March 2 earnings call, Best Buy plans to double down on its efforts in the at-home care space. Corie Barry, Best Buy CEO, noted that Current Health had its best commercial booking year in 2022, inking deals with “five of the top 10 largest health systems in the U.S.” These include Geisinger, Mount Sinai Health System, NYU Langone Health, and Advocate Health.
“In fiscal ’24, we expect to grow Best Buy Health sales faster than the base business,” said Barry. “We also expect to drive a higher mix of our more profitable and unique service plans and deliver cost optimization in our active aging business. We expect these initiatives to drive approximately 10 basis points of enterprise operating income rate expansion.”
These remarks come amid a decline in overall revenue. Best Buy’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 revenue totaled $46.2 billion, down from $51.7 billion the year prior. For FY 2024, the company expects revenues of $43.8 billion to $45.2 billion and a comparable sales decline of 3 percent to 6 percent.
The Atrium Health deal also comes on the heels of Best Buy’s competitors making further inroads into the healthcare industry. In the past month, Amazon completed its $3.9 billion acquisition of virtual and in-person primary care organization One Medical, CVS announced plans to buy Oak Street Health, and Walmart said it will open 28 new Walmart Health center locations.