naviHealth sets up D.C. think tank

Ex-CMS exec to lead post-acute care research initiative

Post-acute care management company naviHealth has set up a Washington, D.C.-based research center that aims to unite providers with policy makers and industry research.

The Post-Acute Care Center for Research is being started with the help of Partners Continuing Care of Massachusetts and will be led by Barbara Gage, who will be its director of scientific research and evaluation. Gage, pictured, is a fellow at the Brookings Institution who also does research at the University of Southern California and has directed numerous Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services initiatives over the past two decades.

“Reforming post-acute care has been a passion of mine since my days running CMS, and the launch of this Center represents a major step in that direction,” Tom Scully, chairman of Brentwood-based naviHealth and general partner of investment firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. “We look forward to recruiting and engaging additional partners, thought leaders and healthcare partners from across the industry as the Center gains momentum.”

The PACCR will look to be a forum for post-acute care policy research, ideas on developing care standards and being an innovation lab for testing delivery system refinements. Officials say post-acute care spending now totals about $110 billion a year and is responsible for almost three-quarters of the variation in Medicare spending.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Gage’s caliber joining our team and leading this Center,” said Clay Richards, president and CEO of naviHealth. “Her depth and range of experience in the area of post-acute care, from both a policy and research perspective, are unparalleled, making her the ideal candidate to ensure the Center fulfills its goals.”

In addition to Gage, naviHealth Vice President of Partnership Marketing Kelsey Mellard will help lead the center's operations. Most recently, she spent two years at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and also has worked at UnitedHealth Group, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the Advisory Board Company.