Jeff Rowe, Editor, Future Care

Jeff Rowe is the editor of Future Care and a veteran healthcare journalist and blogger who has reported extensively on initiatives to improve the healthcare system at the local, regional and national level.

Hospitals seek savings in post-acute care partnerships

May 8, 2017 AT 9:58 PM

Historically, healthcare systems have had little reason to partner specifically with post-acute care (PAC) providers, but the move toward value-based care is changing that.

That’s according to a new white paper from Leavitt Partners, which points to such partnerships as one way to face the increasing pressure to reduce readmission rates.

“Partnering along the PAC continuum,” they argue, “has become the next frontier of opportunityand savings for risk-bearing entities, especially Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), ACOs, and bundled payment awardees.” Among the key benefits of PAC partnerships are reductions in readmissions and the ability for providers to more easily manage length of stay in skilled nursing facilities and better monitor discharge.

The report offers five “essentials” to building an effective post-acute care management program:

• Build strong relationships with post-acute providers, including sharing resources and accountability while building trust across different sites of care.

• Identify the right site of care first and coordinate care better by applying experience and historical data in tandem to find the correct solution earlier. Once patients are discharged, coordinated care can monitor medication adherence and offer home assessments for better outcomes.

• Embrace data analytics, which is the key to value-based care programs.

• Engage patients, their families and caregivers. This is particularly important for high-risk patients who may be receiving home care, as the role of caregiver can be overwhelming.

• Use technology to foster communication. A good care coordination team will also provide clear instructions patients can follow at discharge.