ViaQuest empowers patients with top-level services at every stage
“We are on a quest — a crusade — to change the way healthcare services are delivered.” Those are the words of Rich Johnson, founder and CEO of ViaQuest. Johnson and his 1,900-strong group of experts in behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, home health, and hospice services live to provide care for the most vulnerable among us.
To say the ViaQuest team lives for their work is not hyperbolic in the least; the bulk of service delivery for people with mental and behavioral conditions in the United States is an expensive and complicated proposition. Because most of the services are government funded, caregivers and administrators in the space are tasked with providing meaningful care on a shoestring while never losing touch of the treasure of humanity.
Whether guiding people through the final moments of their life, helping veterans access critical mental and physical health services, or creating supported living environments and communities for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, ViaQuest is on the front lines of compassionate and innovative care provision in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
“We serve some of our nation's most vulnerable people who really need assistance to help grow and live a free and great life in the community,” Johnson explained. “We are here to change people's lives. Some of the people that we serve have lived their life in the shadows, and we're bringing them out of those shadows into the light to where they can have a life.
“When you have something bigger that you're working for — we know you have to put food on the table and support your family — but when you have that calling to change a person's life, to wake up every day and say, ‘I'm changing somebody's life,’ not everybody can do that. I give all the credit to our caregivers in all of our three divisions.”
Those divisions include in-home and community-based services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, home health, and hospice services for the aging, and behavioral health services for people with severe and persistent mental health issues. There is a staff psychiatrist and a team of psychiatric nurse practitioners. “Many of our services apply to the populations we already serve, such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have a co-occurring mental health condition. We also partner with skilled nursing facilities for aging adults who are experiencing mental health issues.”
Together, the divisions form a “circle of care” that enables those in ViaQuest’s care to live as independently as possible with their physical health, mental health, and daily living abilities fully supported. ViaQuest’s team of mental health counselors, social workers, certified psychiatric nurse practitioners, case managers, and on-staff psychiatrists make sure all aspects of care are fully covered.
On the administrative side, serving complex populations requires daunting degrees of agility and patience. Fights to secure funding and reimbursement based on comprehensive case management are all in a day’s work to get people the services they need.
“We’re dealing with the government and increasing regulations, more and more red tape and it's very frustrating,” Johnson admitted. “Even the people in those back-office roles feel the calling. They're not on the front lines, but they know that they're not just processing an invoice or they're not just doing a background check, they all get the calling of what we do, which is amazing in itself.”
An exciting new partnership with OnSeen is lending ViaQuest a helping hand. The company will license and implement OnSeen’s LiveCare mobile workforce management solution to increase efficiency, lower administrative costs, and improve service delivery.
“We’re thrilled with this opportunity. As the regulations go up and the funding doesn't we have to do more.” Johnson said. “It’s going to cut down the time staff spend on manual processes so they can spend far more time providing care. It's an amazing platform that we're piloting for them.” OnSeen’s transportation module will also help ViaQuest manage their vehicle fleet, providing direct routes and safety cues to make sure drivers and patients arrive at their destinations safely. “These two elements are having a tremendous impact on our business,” he added
‘If Not Us, Then Who?’
For Johnson, an Air Force veteran, his work is intensely personal. While his career has been centered on health care, first as a CPA advising health care companies, followed by an executive position at a group providing care for people with developmental disabilities, watching a friend and colleague live with a completely debilitating traumatic brain injury led him to create ViaQuest in 1999.
“Knowing what happened to him and what type of care was out there, we knew there was a group of people that needed this specified care that maybe others weren't providing because it's so hard,” he explained. “We always pride ourselves on trying not to turn away anyone. If we turn them away, who is going to provide those services? We gravitated to people not only with intellectual and developmental disabilities but also people with significant mental health challenges and developmental disability or disabilities that other people weren't willing to serve.”
ViaQuest entered the home health realm to specifically help the elderly who need home care but who are also living with mental health conditions. Complicated government funding and reimbursement protocols restrict the amount of federal dollars available for this specific level of care. “It's a huge challenge, so we said ‘Look, if not us, then who?’ We want to be that provider of choice that if somebody needs a service, we’re going to be there for them and we're going to do our best and try to provide the services and give it everything we have.”
The firm’s hospice division offers customized care and support for individuals with terminal illnesses, as well as respite and emotional support for loved ones and caregivers. Programs are tailored to embrace lifestyles, personal goals, and wishes, with a focus on adding quality throughout the end of life.
ViaQuest’s specialized services also include helping veterans get the care and support they need. “Being a veteran means so much to me. I come from a family of veterans, and it is such an honor to be able to serve veterans.” ViaQuest’s veteran work began in home health and hospice. In addition to working with Honoring Our Veterans, a national organization that recognizes vets with pinning services and other end-of-life remembrances, the company actively connects vets to essential services.
“It's very well-documented that veterans are having issues getting access to care. We spend a lot of time making sure that when veterans reach out to us, whether it's for mental health, jobs, or cutting through the red tape, we help them get the benefits that they deserve and that they are owed.”
Johnson added, “It’s hard work. Every day is a new challenge. But people should feel good knowing that there are companies out there taking care of this nation's most vulnerable populations, and even though it's not easy, every day there's a group of people coming together with enough warmth in their hearts to join together, stick together, and do it — making sure that nobody is left behind.”
ViaQuest’s three main lines of business are all aimed at helping others achieve the best and brightest services. Home Health and Hospice ViaQuest Home Health provides comprehensive, integrated, and multidisciplinary home health services so that you can maintain your independence and receive treatment where you feel most comfortable.
Its services include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social services, dietary and home health aides. ViaQuest Hospice provides comfort and support to people with life-limiting illnesses, enabling them to live with dignity while experiencing quality time with family, friends, and loved ones. Its expert Hospice team and volunteers offer a specialized knowledge of medical care, including pain management in which we improve quality of life through dignity and comfort.
Disability Services at ViaQuest
ViaQuest understands the unique and specialized needs of those with developmental disabilities and has built its comprehensive service model to support individuals regardless of their situation. ViaQuest takes the time to get to know each person and tailor its support based on their personal needs and goals. ViaQuest is committed to helping individuals reach both their personal and employment goals while turning dreams into realities. It is the only provider that serves people across the continuum of care; from daily living skills to physical health to mental and behavioral health.
Behavioral and Mental Health Services
ViaQuest understands that psychiatric and behavioral care needs to be easily accessible, comprehensive and individualized. ViaQuest has the resources and expertise needed to properly manage the complexities of psychiatric and behavioral care, enabling you to live your best life possible.