Trish Benson, Chief Operating Officer, Transitions Home Medical Group

This month’s Spotlight Article features our Chief Operating Officer for Transitions Home Medical Group (THMG), Trish Benson. Trish joined our team in 2016 and has proven herself a valuable asset ever since. She plays a prominent role in the development of strategic initiatives in both Illinois and Indiana, and guides our Palliative Care practice with continued growth in 2021. Currently, THMG is experiencing exciting changes, new developments, improved services and systems, and an outlook geared towards becoming a leading provider of palliative care in the healthcare industry. We sat down with Trish to gather some of her thoughts on THMG’s recent success, and learned more about what she thinks is in store for our palliative care practice going forward. 

Q: How has THMG evolved over the last year? Where do you see THMG going in the coming months and coming year? 

A: THMG has changed immensely over the last year. In addition to partnering with two additional practices, welcoming their patients and providers into our care model, we have made significant technology additions to our capabilities. Our goal is to bring the Transitions’ Model of Care to as many patients as possible, while leveraging best in class technology to support our caregivers. This is all in preparation for significant changes in how healthcare is delivered. Payors, including both commercial insurance companies and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), are looking to invest more in patient outcomes, rather than volume of services. Culturally, we are seeing what has been characterized as either the death acceptance, or death positivity movement, start to take hold. Regardless of a patient prognosis, patients and their families are interested in personalized care plans and experiences, rather than prolonging life. While the  social, financial, and technological landscape is changing rapidly, our commitment to the Transition’s Commandments remains as strong as ever.

Q: Tell me a little bit about the Symptom Management Team program that THMG has developed for its palliative patients.

A: The Symptom Management Team consists of healthcare providers who can meet a broad spectrum of patient needs as soon as a patient needs them. As different medical specialties, such as cardiology and oncology, begin to understand the value that a palliative partner offers to their care programs and their patients, it is becoming increasingly clear that comfort care is a 24/7 job. The fact that emergent events don’t occur between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, was the impetus for Jim Palazzo founding Transitions Hospice. We are excited to extend that philosophy, and care program, to the Palliative Care division.

At THMG, we make sure to honor our commandments. We know each patient is unique and in order to give them the best care possible we make sure to stay technologically advanced. When we asked Trish about upcoming improvements she shared insightful information about how new technology doesn’t only help patients in our care, but also helps us to help you. 

Q: What are some new partnerships that THMG has ongoing? What about new technologies that have been implemented in the last year? 

A: We have partnered with over 12 different software and hardware platforms that serve both our patient care and business intelligence needs. In addition, we continue to partner with organizations that will touch different points within a patient’s  journey. Our goal with partnerships is to leverage the best available technology resources, and use them to ensure we are delivering the right care, at the right place, at the right time. As the demand for our services grows, we want to ensure that the clinical care partners we engage with share our values and will allow us to begin caring for seriously ill patients earlier in the care process.

Q: What does telehealth for Transitions Palliative Care look like in 2021? What has changed? 

A: We are extremely excited about new developments in telehealth. THMG is set to begin engaging patients in RPM, or Remote Physiologic Monitoring, with a telehealth integration. This means we will be able to initiate telehealth visits as soon as a patient shows physiological signs that signal a need for care. The most significant change is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth has been available, and desirable, for a long time. It wasn’t until this last year when so many people had to begin communicating remotely that telehealth really took off. We found that it enhances THMG’s ability to communicate with a patient and their families more often, and are expecting improved clinical outcomes as a result.

If we have gained anything from the last year and a half, it is an ability to adapt and think of innovative solutions to complex problems. Now that telehealth and other technologies are taking off, we are able to continue improving the care provided to our patients. Our new partners and technology allow us to communicate with patients, families, and our care teams to deliver faster, higher-quality compassionate care. All these new benefits improve our care model greatly, building off of the values upon which our company was founded. Thank you to Trish for taking the time to share  THMG’s direction with us- we cannot wait to see what the future holds.