Rick Lopes, MD,
SVP of health networks at SCLHS
To meet the demands of healthcare's transformation from volume to value, organizations are increasingly focusing their efforts on how to better manage patients across the care continuum. Some systems are partnering with post-acute care providers, such as home health and skilled nursing facilities while others are investing in these services under their own umbrellas. Regardless of the business arrangement that hospitals and health systems settle on, physicians play a key role in their patients' care transitions.
Last March, Denver-based SCL Health Systems, a nonprofit system with eight hospitals in three states, announced a joint venture with Univita Health, a home care management company. The partnership is one of many examples health systems are turning to with the goal of better managing quality, outcomes, and patient experience.
Rick Lopes, MD, SVP of health networks at SCLHS, says they spent a lot of time picking the right partner. He says leadership got to know one another through workshops and LEAN management events SCLHS hosted. The two organizations also set out clearly defined goals and planned the details of each handoff.
It's at this transition, whether it's from hospital to home or hospital to rehab or another facility, where a physician can make a big difference in the patient's plan of care, says Christopher Zipp, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP, osteopathic director of medical education for Atlantic Health System, a nonprofit, five-hospital system based in New Jersey.