Postacute Care and the Care Continuum
Hospitals and health systems increasingly must work with providers across the continuum of care to meet the demands of value-based purchasing, reduced reimbursements, new payment structures, and readmissions penalties. Postacute care is the subject of increased interest and focus because it holds the dual promise of improved clinical care and cost containment. Many healthcare providers are purchasing or partnering with a range of postacute facilities such as long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and skilled nursing facilities, as well as home- and community-based services such as home health and hospice care. Important structural and financial questions remain to be resolved as well as the identification of partners that integrate postacute care plans across the care continuum.