The Acute and Post-acute Worlds are Converging: What Does This Mean for Healthcare?

Post-acute providers - which include Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health, Assisted Living and Long Term Care organizations - are under increasing pressure to improve quality outcomes for their patients and communities. Driven in large part by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), post-acute facilities are expected to comply with quality and value-focused initiatives that drive improved reporting, reduce harm caused in the delivery of care, drive patient and family engagement, improve the coordination of care, and ensure that care is affordable and accessible.

Transitions across care settings (acute, post-acute, long-term care) can be a vulnerable time for patients. Poor coordination, communication failures, and adverse drug events increase the likelihood of patient harm and cost the overall healthcare system in resources and dollars. To help address these weak points along the care continuum, CMS developed (and continues to develop) mandated reporting requirements and new care delivery models designed to increase visibility into performance, provide incentives for improved health outcomes, and decrease the occurrence of adverse events.

Mandated and regulatory pressures faced by the post-acute provider community are compounded by population shifts that will more than double the number of people over the age of 65. In fact, the number of individuals using post acute care services is expected to increase from 13 million to 27 million by 2050. Not only are there more people to serve, post-acute providers will have to treat individuals who have more chronic diseases and comorbidities than any other group in previous generations. In this changing demographic landscape and with the rise of advanced financial models including ACOs, bundles, and full-risk contracts, prevention is key. By preventing adverse events, post-acute providers can reduce readmissions, improve patient satisfaction, reduce the risk of patient deterioration, and optimize a patient’s length of stay. Taken together, a patient-focused approach to prevention means better health outcomes, improvements in quality, and a competitive advantage within a crowded post-acute marketplace. But prevention requires foresight into who will get sick and when. To meet this demand, new predictive analytic solutions are emerging that ease the transition between care settings, reduce the risk of readmissions and adverse events, and align interventions to patients to enable the best possible outcome.

- By Jvion Health