Mary Naylor, PhD, RN
In addition to slashing readmission rates, health systems and hospitals are banking on tighter relationships with SNFs and home care agencies to create continuity across the entire care continuum and to reduce unnecessary emergency department utilization, Naylor says. "Hospitals want to pair themselves with the best postacute care facilities."
Seizing postacute care opportunities
Whether a health system has decades of experience operating wholly owned SNFs or it is just beginning to venture into the postacute care realm, hospital executives are building new relationships with skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies.
North Shore-LIJ Health System operates wholly owned SNFs on three hospital campuses and has more than two decades of experience running postacute care facilities, says Merryl Siegel, regional executive director of postacute services for the Great Neck, New York–based organization, which has a workforce of more than 54,000. "We have lengthy experience and a well-known name in the community," she says of the health system's trio of SNFs. "The physicians trust us. We have a referral base."
"One of the key goals for us is reducing the patient leakage outside our health system."
In addition to the wholly owned SNFs, North Shore-LIJ, which will officially change its name to Northwell Health beginning in 2016, also offers services for hospice, home care, and infusions. Having a postacute care division is part of North Shore-LIJ's integrated health system strategy, which is paying off financially, Siegel says.
"One of the key goals for us is reducing the patient leakage outside our health system. Our health system is really an integrated system serving the whole care continuum. Financially, we are able to keep all of that downstream revenue beyond the acute care setting. We know where every patient is being discharged to. You can really monitor your staff, your utilization, and your length of stay."
Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care editor at HealthLeaders.