Attending to a person in their hour of death is one of the most honorable and sacred things we can do for one another. Through state-of-the-art technology, education, and a deep devotion to compassionate care, Maxwell Healthcare Associates aims to forever change the way we live our final days.
Next to facing our own mortality, the most challenging and heartbreaking aspect of life is living through the death of someone we love. Every day, in thousands of homes and dedicated facilities across the nation, hospice workers offer patients and families the support they need to navigate this ultimate transition.
As advancements in medicine have extended life expectancy and altered perceptions about end-of-life care, more and more people are choosing to die at home or in the care of deeply compassionate professionals whose vocation it is to help the terminally ill leave this life. Pursuing a career that transforms the way humans experience their final days is an extraordinary one, and not for the faint of heart.
Enter Tom and Jennifer Maxwell, founders of Maxwell Healthcare Associates and Co-Founders of Muse Healthcare, whose purpose is to transform the healthcare industry’s final frontier. With deep expertise in hospice and home care, electronic records technology, and education, the couple were industry leaders prior to establishing MHA. A former Navy hospital corpsman, Tom served as chief strategy officer and chief operations officer of Homecare Homebase, the nation’s largest electronic medical records firm specializing in homecare and Hospice healthcare, and that has significant M&A experience.
In addition to her role as an executive account manager at a home health and hospice consulting firm, in the years before MHA, Jennifer served as CEO and executive director of the Minnesota Homecare Association and was a former adjunct professor of psychology and sociology at Colorado Christian University.
For the Maxwell's, their enterprise is personal. “My Nana was in hospice and then we cared for her. She passed away six years ago and it changed our lives,” Tom said. “We really focused on this business differently. Home is the setting that people want to be in. I want to have my dog or cat near me, or my family can come and visit me. I'm in my setting with my neighbors, my mailman, all that familiarity versus taking me from home and putting me into a facility where we don't have all those conveniences of life.”
Today, Jennifer and Tom are leading a revolution in the $130 billion hospice and home care market through the inspired application of technology, processes, and people. In addition to MHA, they are also the co-founders of Muse Healthcare, a tech development firm designed to introduce cutting edge data analytics to the business of home and hospice care.
Data scientist and predictive modeling specialist Bryan Mosher worked with the Maxwell's to develop a disease-agnostic solution that can anticipate those changes in a person’s health status that will impact their end-of-life care. The solution assesses how long it may take for a patient in hospice care to decline and transition.
The highly accurate advance notice Muse provides offers unprecedented flexibility for hospice organizations. Care plans, medications, and visitation frequencies can be quickly adapted as the health of the patient changes. Muse blends machine learning and medical science to effectively and efficiently increase care levels. “We take over 800 different data elements from the clinical documentation, all the medications, all the clinical notes and narratives, interventions, and physical assessments, and compare that data for all the patients that have previously passed away,” Tom explained.
Each data element is then scored to assess the probability and speed of a person’s declining health over a prescribed time period.
“We created Muse to help the hospice organizations identify those patients that need immediate care without having to read every single visit note, every single nursing note, or rely on multiple clinicians going into the home to be able to talk to each other and collaborate and identify that a patient is declining,” Tom said. To date, Muse’s accuracy rate is an impressive 93%.
Government statistics show that over 23% of hospice patients die without having a skilled caregiver visit during their last three days of life. “When not one clinical social worker, chaplain, or other caregiver is out there to see that patient and they die alone it's a tragedy. It shouldn't happen,” Jennifer said. “That statistic really took us to a deeper level of commitment to building out the Muse tool so that we can ultimately tell every hospice agency that we have changed the outcome of every single hospice patient in the nation.”
Muse uses neural network technology with natural language processing to thoroughly analyze a patient’s history and vital signs to determine their risk of decline, dramatically reducing the time it takes to curate the data that hospice professionals need to make the best possible end-of-life decisions. “Our goal was to have an accuracy rate over 80%,” Tom said. “We hit 93%, and we continue to refine the model and make it even more accurate. We have 23 customers that have adopted Muse at some of the largest home care and hospice providers in the country.”
Increased efficiency is resulting in higher quality and satisfaction scores for hospice providers, which in turn leads to markedly improved reimbursement rates, a bonus craved by every Medicare or Medicaid provider.
“If you can provide that high level of care and your families and caregivers are giving you high scores across the board, that becomes another leverage point for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to increase their daily rate over time. CMS is going to pay more for those agencies that provide that highest level of quality care,” Jennifer said.
”We want to make sure that our tools are creating that signal to the clinician so that they can care for that patient as they're beginning to transition so no patient dies alone. That’s why we created Muse,” Tom said. “We’ve proven over and over that our customers are doing more visits in the last seven days of life than any of their competitors that don't use the tool.”
As Jennifer put it, “I want to age in place in my home. I don't want to end up in a facility and I want my children to not feel the burden of having to take that on. Helping to create a post-acute-care world that provides for the future is the most satisfying work that I feel that we do.”
As a former adjunct professor, Jennifer is a staunch proponent of continuing education and ensures MHA walks the talk. “As an organization we are continuously educating our consultants to be the best in the space. Every consultant we have on board is provided a continuing education plan. As we bring on a new vendor partner, as we learn new things about regulations, processes, people, or other technologies, we extend that to our consulting base,” she said. “Typically, you’d never see that in any other consulting firm. When we say people, process, and technology for the future of healthcare we embrace that internally as well.”
Tom added, “We are super passionate. We know there’s a long road ahead of us, given the number of seniors that are coming into home care and hospice. We’re going to keep innovating so that we can continue to help this industry grow. I think we've left a big impact, but we want to continue to enhance, develop, and invest in technology, tools, processes, and people to help change healthcare.”
An elite team of home health and hospice consultants with a laser focus on post-acute's most relevant operational, technological, regulatory and financial needs.
Tom and Jennifer Maxwell launched MHA in 2016 to help their friends in the home health and hospice space succeed in today's competitive and disruptive healthcare environment.
With regulations and new payment models dictating operations like never before, providers have tighter budgets with less room for error. Providers need to be more efficient than ever.
Tom and Jennifer believe many of the answers to post-acute's challenges lie in home health and hospice technology adoption and optimization—in which they have a unique and rich knowledge base.
This expertise combined with their team’s varied knowledge in all aspects of home health and hospice operations, finance, technology and regulations makes MHA post-acute's premier home health and hospice consulting company.
5910 Rice Creek Parkway #450
Shoreview, MN 55126