The Friday Five – Post-Acute Care Trends and Takeaways for 2018
Healthcare NOW Radio turns to the insights of Jeff Merselis, VP, Business Development, CarePort Health for this week’s Friday Five. CarePort Health, acquired by Allscripts in Oct. 2016, is a post-acute care technology that empowers patients to better understand the options available to them while also allowing physicians to track how their patients are doing once discharged from a hospital setting.
5 Post-Acute Care Trends and Takeaways for 2018
By Jeff Merselis, VP, Business Development, CarePort Health
At HIMSS18: Visit CarePort Health in the Allscripts Booth: 2054, MP20 this year in Las Vegas.
In almost every healthcare conversation today, we hear about the shift from volume to value-based care. As we head into 2018, value-based payment models continue to be clear drivers of change, not only for hospitals and health systems, but also for post-acute providers.
Payers and providers do not have transparency and visibility into care after patients are discharged from the hospital. Without this “when and where” knowledge, continuity of care, patient satisfaction, and quality outcomes can all be adversely affected.
Here are five key trends post-acute providers need to be thinking about in our ever-evolving healthcare environment in order to fully adapt to value-based care and improve patient outcomes.
Trend #1: Get ready for your Medicare haircut.
Hospitals have been subject to readmission penalties for years, and now SNFs are on the hook financially too. Under Medicare’s Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value-Based Purchasing Program, SNFs will be eligible for incentive payments based on their readmissions performance. The catch, of course, is that Medicare will withhold 2% of its payments from SNFs to fund these bonus payments. SNFs failing to hit target performance standards for readmissions will face financial penalty. Dates and details are forthcoming, but SNFs need to take notice and prepare now.
Trend #2: Prepare for even greater accountability on quality and cost.
Post-acute care providers should be prepared for an increased focus on collecting outcome metrics, spurred from value-based programs, CMS, and consumers. As definitions of “provider” and “payer” continue to blur, the need grows for greater transparency across the care continuum. Acute providers are working to strengthen their post-acute partnerships, so all parties are necessitating greater reporting and accountability. Finally, as cost and choice continue to shift to patients with high-deductible plans, patients and their family members are becoming increasingly savvy healthcare consumers—even in post-acute settings. A family member placing a loved-one in a skilled facility wants a 5-star rated home, specific amenities, and of course, the appropriate clinical services.
Trend #3: Get your data house in order.
Value-based reimbursement models translate to a greater need for interoperability across the care continuum. While acute and post-acute providers may have operated as data silos in the past, data sharing is now the new norm. Be prepared to share your data story and highlight your successes.
Trend #4: Find your niche and self-promote.
Does it seem like your tween-age kids are constantly on a social media blitz of self-promotion? Well, perhaps SNFs could learn a thing or two from tweens. Gone are the days when SNFs solely relied on geographic proximity for referrals. Outcomes-based reimbursement models and data-driven analytics are shining a spotlight on high-cost outliers and poor-quality outcomes across provider networks, resulting in swift changes in referral patterns. Greater specialization is tied to improved outcomes and less variation in quality, naturally encouraging SNFs to identify and focus on what they do best. Moving beyond “heads in beds,” SNFs need to align their unique strengths with their unique market needs. A resident placed in the most appropriate care setting diminishes the likelihood of an unnecessary return to hospital, and everyone wins.
Trend #5: Managing care transitions. Are you seeing the whole picture?
Today, the complexities and sheer volume of care transitions, across multiple disparate acute and post-acute settings, have increased exponentially. Challenges abound, especially around data interoperability, which limits the care team’s ability to effectively manage care across the continuum. Real-time notifications and information-sharing on when and where patients receive care are critical tools for effective care management and improved outcomes.
As we look ahead, not only do post-acute providers need to keep their eye on these trends, but how – as a healthcare community – can we improve the quality of care we’re providing our patients post-discharge from acute care settings. New technologies can bridge the data divide while also bringing much needed transparency to post-acute care. With advanced tracking and analytics capabilities, providers and payers across the care continuum can—for the first time—grasp the real-time status of their patients’ health, provide sound advice, and empower patients to take control of a critical part of their healthcare journey. Better management of patients across post-acute settings is all the more pressing with the shift to value-based payment models, making next-generation technology extremely impactful.
Be sure to join Jeff on February 28th at 1:00 pm EST for a live webinar, Top Post-Acute Care Trends and Takeaways in 2018, where CarePort will take a deeper dive into each of these topics and share strategies that you can implement at your organizations to drive your success.
ICYMI – Our other Friday Fives.