Extended Care Specialists: Company Overview and Vision

We want to give you a snapshot of our company. Cathy Yaggy and Susan Halley are nurse practitioners. We jointly own Extended Care Specialists, Inc. or ECS, for short. ECS was formed in 2005 in response to the disconnect we recognized in the delivery in primary care to seniors living in skilled, long term care and assisted living facilities. Our company was the pioneer in the Fort Wayne area for establishing a model for on-site primary care nurse practitioner services in the post-acute setting. Long before concerns about CMS bundled payments and hospital readmission rates, we discerned that residents were better served by identifying adverse health conditions early. Our model of care continues to be based on the tenet that managing resident’s health issues early in their own familiar environment is best practice, yields superior healthcare outcomes, minimizes re-hospitalizations, all of which reduce cost.

ECS started as a company contracting with one facility in Fort Wayne. Cathy and Susan collaborated with the facility medical director and together provided on-site primary care. Due to the demonstrated positive impact that ECS’s presence made, ECS was quickly recruited by other area facilities to provide on-site primary care. We now exist throughout the state of Indiana including Chesterton, South Bend, Valparaiso, Warsaw, Fort Wane, Marion, Muncie, Indianapolis, Greensburg, Columbus, Batesville, and Bloomington. We employ 50 nurse practitioners, 1 physician assistant, 1 LCSW, and 1 physician providing services to 93 skilled, long term assisted living facilities. Over the past 5 five years we have enhanced our services to also include wound, psych and neurology specialties. Our six NP specialists each have their individual caseloads and see residents regularly. Designated ECS nurse practitioners also make transitional care home visits after facility discharges. The goal is to ensure that all discharge orders are in place and that patients have a follow up appointment with their primary care provider.

In addition, ECS contracts with several facilities to provide on-site employee clinics. Both acute and chronic employee health care concerns are managed in these clinics. Outside of the clinic setting, ECS contracts with facilities to complete pre-employment physicals for potential new hires. ECS also contracts with a regional in-patient psychiatric hospital to complete admitting H&Ps and to manage any non-psychiatric acute health care issues. We are the sole provider of NPs to contract with RediMed to provide primary care to Lutheran Health Network’s community partners such as Southwest Allen County Schools and Indiana Tech. We also contract with Lutheran Health Network to complete H&Ps and determine clearance for brief anesthesia for both the Dental Clinic and ECTs.

The success of ECS can partially be attributed to our ability to anticipate changes in the health care environment and implement creative solutions. We currently have a visionary strategy in to incorporate the patient’s primary care provider throughout the entire transition from hospital to post-acute care facility back to home. We have developed a proposal outlining an action plan for this vision. A long standing goal of ECS is to establish a state of the art interdisciplinary senior health clinic within Fort Wayne. As of now, the NE Indiana community has limited access to geriatric expertise. We also have developed a proposal outlining a framework for addressing this void in holistic geriatric care. With our provider geriatric expertise and the support of a hospital system, we could make this proposal a reality.

ECS is committed to providing distinctive healthcare services to our aging population. Our vision continuously evolves seeing endless possibilities to build and enhance upon healthcare’s existing foundation.