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Getting the Value Out of Postacute Care

News  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   August 10, 2016

Whether hospitals and health systems plan to own postacute providers or not, how your organization interacts with them after discharge will play an ever more critical role in both clinical and financial outcomes.

This article first appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Why does postacute value matter for acute care hospitals and health systems?

Does it matter because they get dinged on reimbursements from Medicare thanks to penalties that kick in should a Medicare patient be readmitted within 30 days for the same condition? Those penalties can be significant. In the 2016 fiscal year, the fourth year of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, some 2,592 of the nation's hospitals were penalized a combined $420 million from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016.

Postacute Care Has a Quality Management Problem

Does it matter because commercial health plans are starting to jump on the penalties pioneered by the federal government? In some cases, yes, commercial plans have moved in that direction, but that's a patchwork and baby-step process.

Acute care hospitals and health systems see that making large investments in everything from care coordination to patient monitoring to helping postacute providers with electronic medical record interoperability will be necessary to achieve their goals. Is that why postacute value matters?


Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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