CareCycle Solutions Announces Change in Executive Leadership

On May 20, 2014, the CareCycle Solutions board of directors appointed Matt Johnson to the position of Chief Executive Officer, a position formerly occupied by Wayne Bazzle.  Matt will envelope the functions of this newly appointed role into his ongoing commitment as President and CEO of CareCycle Management, a subsidiary of CareCycle Solutions.

Matt Johnson is an SMU alumnus and previously served as CEO of HealthBridge, a Richardson-based senior care company.  His experience in the healthcare industry began with Cerner Corporation where he served as an Alignment Executive based in London.

CareCycle Solutions, formerly named Home Healthcare Partners, was founded in October 2003 by Wayne and Cheryl Bazzle with the financial support of two investor organizations.  The company is privileged to serve thousands of patients and employ hundreds of healthcare professionals through ownership of seven homecare agencies in Texas and Louisiana. Additionally, the company has the nation’s largest non-governmental telehealth service and has managed over 30,000 patients remotely. The leadership team of CareCycle Solutions is looking confidently forward to new opportunities to meet the changing needs of the healthcare environment.

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CCManagement Final

CareCycle Solutions Launches Health Care of the Future

Fact 1: Hospitals and Payers need to reduce their readmissions.
Problem 1: How can they know WHICH patients are at highest risk of readmission?Solution: CareCycle Navigator™
Fact 2: A single hospital or payer may still have thousands of high risk patients.
Problem 2: How can they effectively manage those patients in a targeted way which results in reduced admissions?
Solution: CareCycle Navigator™
Question: Is CareCycle Navigator™ the same thing as TeleHealth?
Answer: No!

CareCycle Solutions began developing its Interventional TeleHealth service about eight years ago anticipating the day when many patients would be managed remotely. Key to developing this service has been the CCS home healthcare division. Our agencies provided the thousands of patients and the knowledge of many hundreds of skilled clinicians without which this program could not have been successful or even developed at all. In a very real sense, agency managements have been building a new home healthcare model; one for a future that will mandate efficiency and effectiveness even though patient populations will grow far more rapidly than will the number of experienced clinicians.

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So this is where we are; the framework is in place and tools are nearing completion!
As CCS’s experience grew, it became clear that new systems would be required in order to provide this form of health care to large numbers of patients. With each new development, we saw that still more sophisticated systems were needed and that large groups of patient populations far from CCS’s traditional market could benefit from its electronic platform. Accordingly, CCS has grouped its Interventional TeleHealth service and its clinical decision support system, “Navigator”, into a subsidiary named CareCycle Management. While Interventional TeleHealth will continue to be an important part of our comprehensive service offering, CCM’s Navigator will develop new outlets for our service, new customers, and new income streams along with an independent CCM image. In fact, its own web site is just now being launched.

You Know about Interventional TeleHealth, but what is CareCycle Navigator™ and how Does it Work?
CareCycle Navigator is pretty complex so we have included a page to outline its key components. You will see that this system is unlike any you have seen before; and we are told by many that there is nothing like this in the market place today. With the costs of tangled road words150monitoring equipment falling rapidly, we are moving quickly to the time when patients will remain in our electronic safety net for as long as their chronic illness is a continuing condition.

Changes required by all of us in order to remain relevant can be terrifying, if one is not prepared. But CCS agencies and CCM will be ready for the future as leaders rather than followers, before the end of this year. That is exciting, really exciting!

How the CareCycle Navigator™ Works

  1. Creates a dynamic, patient specific, risk stratification model
  2. Adds the 30 Day risk coefficient from the proprietary CCS Predictive Model[GB1] 
  3. Combines patient’s personal demographic data  with their personal medical history to include polypharmacy, co-morbidities, and previous hospitalization admissions
  4. Adds the patient’s current dynamic medical status- current vital signs, symptom trends, CCS Health Coach assessment, medication compliance, and associated clinical interventions

Key Components

  1. Multi-dimensional scoring – dynamic factors have a score dependent on the risk coefficient, underlying static health status, and dynamic status change.
    • Example:  Patient with weight gain – if underlying heart failure diagnosis, points are higher than if no underlying heart failure diagnosis.  All dynamic metrics are scored multi-dimensionally.
  2. Calculates patient’s risk of readmission and the specific risk condition(s).
    • Example:  Navigator calculates the 30-day risk coefficient AND identifies which risk factors are most likely – pneumonia, dehydration, heart failure exacerbation, etc.
  3. The CareCycle Navigator™ assigns the appropriate level of clinician and care setting based on dynamic changes in the patient’s condition.
  4. Provides a safety net for patient step-down management models.   All risks are identified dynamically and the clinical decision support engine stratifies patients automatically.  As patients stabilize, they will step down in the care model.  Likewise, any impending exacerbation or acute clinical condition will be automatically identified and appropriate re-intensification will be initiated.  Examples of categories and health metrics are shown below.

Navigator Image

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9.11 • Today. Tomorrow. Every Day. We Remember.

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Disconnected in a Wired World

Neal Patterson of Cerner challenges… “Imagine a world where iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids and  landlines can’t place calls to one another and you will get a pretty good idea of what has been going on in health IT over the past few decades.” 

Patterson is leading Cerner to bridge these IT gaps, but at the present moment there remain formidable walls separating the sectors of healthcare.

In a world where we “feel” so connected via media and technology.. our healthcare data remains surprisingly fragmented… keeping the patient and the patient’s multiple care providers out of the knowledge loop. 

Do you think you’re “wired”?  You might think differently once you read this white paper by Wayne Bazzle, CEO of CareCycleSolutions.




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More dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year! Are you celebrating the 4th with your pooch? You might want to read this article first!

Independence dogMore dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year! Are you celebrating the 4th with your pooch? You might want to read this article first!

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Nurse… In Other Words

We asked our employees to send us a word or two describing a nurse near and dear to their heart… Wow! We got an enthusiastic response…and some great words!  We compiled them into a collage in celebration of Nurses Week 2013.nurse words-01


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Happy Nurses Week!

Do you know why Nurses Week is celebrated this particular week each year?
Because May 12th was Florence Nightingale’s birthday!  She would be 193 this year!
Thank a nurse this week for all they give!keep calm nurse fb-01

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Ever Feel Like a Pretzel??

Single PretzelMost of us have heard about the “sandwich generation”, but I daresay my husband feels more like a pretzel these days.

The twists and turns and curves of his daily path make for an interesting ride sometimes.  He begins with a plan that is as straight as a nice fat loaf of French bread, but suddenly… his 14-year-old has an orthodontist appointment… and his Mom needs a prescription picked up… and the dog needs to be let outside… and his wife (me) just wants to know what time he’s going to be home for dinner.  The home for dinner part seems like a simple question, but the truth is… he doesn’t know IF he’ll be home for dinner some days. I see him morphing into that salty pretzel… sitting under the heat lamp at the mall.

The push and pull of people he loves on both sides of his day definitely gets him tied up in knots from time to time (and sometimes all of the time).

One ingredient that actually loosens a knot or two, is knowing that his Mom’s health status is being monitored on a daily basis.  If she’s not eating well… if her COPD is worsening… if she’s lonely… he’s going to know it immediately because she’s being checked on every day through the support of Interventional TeleHealth.

If he has a question about medication… or is concerned about a new or worsening symptom, he calls and talks to her TeleHealth Clinician.  Not only does he have a listening ear, but the person on the other end of the line can actually take ACTION if needed. The TeleHealth Coach can educate about diet, medication timing and all aspects of chronic disease management.  The TeleHealth Coach can call her doctor or pharmacist to give report or clarify instructions.

TeleHealth is only one ingredient in his really twisty life, but it is an item that lightens the load just a little bit, and brings peace of mind when he can’t be there himself.  To me… that is a gallon of support I don’t want to live without.  We knew Interventional TeleHealth would be good for his Mom… we had no idea how good it would be for the rest of the family!

The support from CareCycle Solutions and Interventional TeleHealth makes those knotted and twisted days a little easier to navigate (and tastier too).  So serve me that pretzel… piping hot… buttered… and light on the salt please.

April 26th just happens to be Happy Pretzel Day!

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CareCycle Solutions Receives Home Care & Hospice LINK Spirit of Innovation Award

2013-HC-LINK-Spirit-of-Innovation-SealWinners will be honored and present an innovation case study at the 2013 LINK Conference this June.

April, 2013 – CareCycle Solutions is proud to announce that it has earned the Spirit of Innovation Award, as part of the inaugural Home Care & Hospice LINK Conference. This award recognizes companies for their innovation, dedication to continuous improvement, development of best practices, and commitment to the success of the home care and hospice industry.

“The goal of the Spirit of Innovation Award is to celebrate and foster innovation – both big and small – and help advance business productivity in home care and hospice. This year’s winners have not only developed unusually successful business initiatives but also demonstrated a willingness to share their great ideas with others in support of this mission,” said Scott Brown, Executive Director of LINK.

CareCycle Solutions will present a case study of their program at the 2013 Home Care LINK Conference this June 4-6 at the Swissotel Chicago. LINK is teeming with real-world, successful initiatives from home care and hospice providers and covers the timeliest and most topical industry issues as well as out-of-the-box perspectives from innovation experts and thought leaders with an eye towards what’s on the horizon.

The registration deadline is April 8. For sign up information, please visit or call (203) 644-1718.

About CareCycle Solutions
CareCycle Solutions (CCS) is considered a national leader in providing transitional care to chronically ill seniors via TeleHealth.  CCS has provided Interventional TeleHealth to over 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries over the past 7 years and is the largest non-governmental telehealth program in the United States.   During this time, CCS has consistently demonstrated hospitalization outcomes greater than 50% below the national hospitalization rates. One of the keys to success of Interventional TeleHealth is a dynamic patient care model rather than a static acuity system.  As a patient’s condition and risk factors change, the model of care for the patient must also change up and down in intensity. CareCycle Solutions has a proven, repeatable, and scalable solution to the healthcare crisis.

About Home Care & Hospice LINK
Home Care & Hospice LINK is an incredibly efficient way for senior leadership team to learn about innovative thinking, new products, and best practices. It will help home care and hospice organizations view business challenges in a new light and discover creative and actionable solutions that drive profitability, quality, and growth.

Provider attendance is open to home care and hospice executive teams from organizations with revenue over $25 million. There is a $975 per company registration fee, which includes a complimentary meeting suite and covers an unlimited number of qualified executives.

To register please contact Meredith Anastasio at (203) 644-1718 or

About Lincoln Healthcare Events:
Lincoln Healthcare Events aims to produce conferences of outstanding quality for CEOs and other leaders of healthcare service companies. Our mission is to advance excellence in leadership, strategy and innovation across healthcare providers, thereby helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the U.S. healthcare system. We seek to provide visionary educational programs, notable peer networking, authentic customer service and memorable experiences.

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Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, Android, Email, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Galaxy, Cloud, Laptop, Cell Tower, Satellite, Internet, Text, Apps, Twitter,
Google, Yelp, FourSquare

data tunneliStock_000016267260XSmallThe internet’s roots date back to the 1960s when the United States government commissioned development of a robust, fault-tolerant computer network and then funded, through the National Science Foundation, a U. S. “backbone” in the 1980s.  There it was, the foundation of the greatest change-agent since the Industrial Revolution, used almost exclusively by governmental agencies and universities but, THERE IT WAS! We should stop here to reflect on the fact that our government does a LOT of things wrong—but not EVERYTHING wrong. The positive impact of this development on all mankind can not be calculated. And while by mid-2012 over a third of the world’s population (about 2.4 billion people) had used the services of the internet, its use is still in its infancy. Editorial Comment: Once the internet was developed, the Federal government got out of the way and let free enterprise innovators take over except for maintaining Protocol addresses and the Domain Name system. Is there a lesson about public-private partnerships to be learned here?

So now let’s reflect on how use of the internet has changed two of our largest industries, Banking and Healthcare. Few other industries are as large or of such great importance to the public as are these two. A piece of plastic, about two by three inches in size with a magnetic strip, functioning as a debit or credit card provides individuals with access to their bank account and/or credit line virtually wherever they may be in the world. Now, not tomorrow or next week. This “bank in your pocket” was first developed more than sixty years ago (60!) and therefore long pre-dates the internet. But fair to say the internet fostered explosive use (and abuse) of this little plastic facilitator of uncountable financial transactions. And this is but one example of how the internet greased the wheels of business and commerce. If the internet has had such a profound impact on the world of finance, then surely it must have also done so for another of our most important industries: healthcare. Well, maybe not.

Every doctor’s office, hospital homecare agency, skilled nursing facility, pharmacy, assisted living facility, hospice, outpatient physical therapy facility—on and on—maintain their own patient charts and records, mostly on paper. Several years ago this writer had rather simple shoulder surgery and was required to complete, ON PAPER, virtually identical documentation for the physician, surgeon, hospital, lab and outpatient physical therapy facility. Each provider was required to translate very poor penmanship and impossibly bad spelling for their own charting and billing systems. Long after the fact, the insurer was able to report to the insured what had been charged and paid and what amount remained unpaid. The costs of such an inefficient system have been estimated but the facts are that nobody really knows how much these duplicative processes cost society. And no one even attempts to consider the cost to the patient in time and lost productivity resulting from completing almost identical documentation multiple times!

And so the power of electronic systems, the internet, and the analysis of “big data” has largely gone untapped by healthcare, 18% of the country’s GNP. Systems development has mostly focused on improving the speed and accuracy of billing and payroll systems, not on better understanding how, when and where patient care is most effectively provided. Medicare owns one of, if not THE, largest, deepest healthcare data-set in the world. Yet only now is this gold mine of information being used to compare the effectiveness of hospitals, and these initial efforts remain crude and flawed. Among the thousands of hospitals throughout the country there must be some that are far more efficient, producing better patient outcomes at lower cost, than others. THERE MUST BE! Such hospitals would be chosen by any rational patient if only the information were made available. The same point can be made of doctors, surgeons, homecare agencies, skilled nursing facilities, etc. But benchmarking information that would make it possible to know which providers are among the most, or least, effective is simply not available. Healthcare’s “big data” is used to understand how much money is being paid to which providers for what purpose; not to learn which providers generate superior patient results and how this is accomplished. But finally, at long last, decades late and at great expense, the healthcare industry is embracing the power of electronic systems coupled with the internet to move rapidly into the twentieth century; and it may even catch up to the twenty-first century before the twenty-third arrives. However, there is one massive omission from this movement which will significantly limit its effectiveness. We’ll get to that in a moment.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 encourages most providers (with notable exceptions) to adopt and use an Electronic Health Record (EHR) so that patient records can be electronically accessed by multiple providers. Ultimately this will result in far improved patient information being quickly available to those providers who may be called upon to care for each patient. The federal government is providing cash payments to many hospitals and physicians to encourage their adoption of an EHR. In addition, those that have not done so by 2015 will be penalized by seeing their Medicare payments reduced. The “carrot and stick” approach favored by governments is once again being used to drive change. And so we will finally see the broad use of electronic patient records, but will these records systems be designed so that patient information can be readily moved from provider to provider? No and yes. There is no common system being mandated, so each provider can design an electronic patient record that fits its own particular need. Expensive and inefficient. But, and this is a big but, four of the giants that provide hospital systems have just announced that they are working on developing systems interfaces that will allow patient records to move electronically among those providers using any one of their systems. Finally, the power of electronic records and the internet are coming to bear on healthcare. But wait! As stated earlier, something is missing. Whatever can it be?

The Patient! Hospitals and physicians are being electronically wired together but patients, the only reason providers exist, are not part of the loop. Individuals who are chronically ill generate about 75% of all healthcare costs and these people do not get well; that’s kind of what chronic means. (Exception: if very overweight people lose lots of weight, their diabetes and high blood pressure may be reversed). The very people who generate the vast majority of healthcare costs are not part of the healthcare wiring conversation. As long as that massive hole exists, the industry’s movement to become efficient will be severely limited. Interestingly, the Federal government itself has solved an important part of this problem without seeming to know it. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has developed a telehealth service for many of its patients and over the years conclusively proved its value. By electronically connecting many of its patients with their care providers, the VHA has plugged the gaping communications hole that exists in almost all systems. They have proven the value of their telehealth service and now, with about 65,000 patients being served by this service, they are probably the largest such service in the world. So far, it seems that CMS has not learned much about the benefits of telehealth from its sister program. Others, notably Partners HealthCare, Geisinger Health System and Centura Health, have also proved the value and cost effectiveness of bringing patients into the electronic communications loop through the use of telehealth services.

CareCycle Solutions (CCS) provides its own TeleHealth solution to chronically ill patients. By using its Interventional TeleHealth service to manage some 20,000 unduplicated patients over a number of years, CCS routinely achieves thirty day all-cause rehospitalizations that are 62% lower than the national average for all Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries. Thus far, CCS has focused on the most costly of Medicare beneficiaries, those who suffer with multiple chronically illnesses and therefore are among its most elderly and fragile patients. CCS has witnessed the progress that such patients can make in managing their own conditions, once trained and experienced in the use of telehealth, and is developing step-down programs that will allow the patient to become more self-reliant. And, as a growing number of Baby-Boomers become Medicare eligible, the smart phone is slated to become an important part of the CCS TeleHealth program. In addition, Tele-Physical Therapy services, now under development, will provide patients with increased availability of therapy services at decreased cost to the provider.  As more providers recognize the value of wiring patients into the communications’ loop of their very own healthcare ecosystem, there will emerge a wondrous series of connected events: patients will become more knowledgeable about their conditions and therefore more self-reliant; providers will become less over-worked, find themselves providing care that is nearer the top than the bottom of their license and national healthcare costs per capita will actually decline rather than only climb less rapidly. All of this can occur if healthcare providers enable patients to become active participants in their own care. The key is to make them part of the electronic communication’s loop, not its bystander.

Wayne Bazzle, CEO

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