Opportunities in Post-Acute Care Attracts Providers
The expansion of bundled payment programs, risk-bearing payment models, and readmissions penalties are catalysts for acute-care facilities to explore their relationships with discharged patients.
Now more than ever, health providers are pressured to place patients in the right venue at the right time to efficiently utilize resources; and at the same time, providers must ensure that patients receive the quality care they deserve. The increasingly common practice is for payment models to cover the entire continuum of care, and not just acute or primary care alone. Even MACRA will be adhering to risk-bearing payment models and bundled payments.
These changes can be taxing on health care organizations, but some clear paths to both excellence in post-acute care and financial stewardship are emerging.
Begin by developing a successful Post-Acute Care Strategy.
Sometimes overlooked by health systems, the properly designed and implemented post-acute care path offers a means for facilities to improve their quality of care while simultaneously enhancing the bottom line.
Provider organizations should not limit their definition of post-acute care to Home Health Agencies, Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Providers should likewise consider the role of Ambulance Providers, Dialysis Centers, and Hospice services to meet community demand.
Properly utilizing a post-acute venue benefits both patient care and the business of healthcare and gives patients the options they seek. Because of public reporting of quality data, people are better informed today than ever before in selecting venues for post-acute care.
While developing a post-acute care continuum may be right for some organizations, partnering may be a viable option for others. Used properly, hospitals and health systems can shape the post-acute care continuum to better serve patients, reduce readmissions and overall demand upon the acute care hospital to better control spending.
MedPac & Post-Acute Care
In 2015, MedPac reported that post-acute care spending in four areas (rehabilitation, LTAC, homecare, SNF for Medicare patients) accounted for more than $60 billion of global Medicare expenditures. This level of spending, along with unequal payments across different venues for the same type of patient, has led MedPac to reevaluate the methodologies and designs for payment systems. For instance, the same stroke patient could be treated in any one of the four primary PAC venues – home care, rehab, LTAC or SNF. The payment to the provider and cost to the system would be very different for each venue, but the outcome per patient would likely differ very little.
Murer Consultants is uniquely positioned to help hospitals and health systems assess the need to expand or redesign their venues of post-acute care. Murer recommends the best strategy moving forward and assists in implementing updated strategic plans.
In the linked areas below, Murer Consultants examines the traditional and not-so-traditional post-acute care landscape, offering practical and tested ideas for developing post-acute strategies and their successful implementation.
Learn more about Murer’s experience with the following types of Post-Acute Care Facilities
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