To stay ahead of the curve and adapt to the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, providers are finding success by pooling together their strengths and resources, notes Lifepoint Health CEO, David Dill.1
Partnership has become a leading strategy to efficiently improve quality while continuing to meet the needs of the growing medically complex patient population. However, every hospital and community is different. A one-size-fits-all partnership strategy does not exist. Partnerships can vary in model, stage of the care continuum and facility type.
Discover key hospital partnership models that can meet growing medically complex patient needs, and the service lines that can most benefit from partnership.
Benefits Of Dual Specialty Integration for The Overall Hospital
Specialty hospitals, especially those with multiple care offerings, have historically earned the highest levels of patient satisfaction.2 This makes specialty hospitals “attractive partners for health systems, physician groups, and general hospitals, particularly for those in established or emerging value-based payment markets.”3
Specialized service lines are important as the number of patients with multiple comorbidities increases. Two rapidly growing service lines that can benefit from partnership and play a pivotal role in patient outcomes when integrated together are:
- Inpatient Rehabilitation
Spurred further by the increasing medically complex population, patient preferences and skilled nursing closures, the need for inpatient rehabilitation is rapidly growing. Healthcare executives have found rehabilitation partnership allows them to more easily add and optimize this needed service to their care continuum.
- Behavioral Health
Not having a dedicated behavioral health program has shown to contribute to the growing capacity issues within emergency departments (ED), leading patients to forego the necessary and timely care they need. However, behavioral health integration is complex and requires specialized expertise that can take away from the hospital’s core service lines.
Through partnership, hospitals can efficiently address a full range of behavioral health issues including mental health, psychiatric care, addiction treatment and counselinghospitals can improve patient outcomes, reduce cost and improve community health.
Behavioral health and rehabilitation program integration are important programs independently, but when paired together as a dual integration strategy, can provide substantial benefit to the entire care continuum.
Patients suffering from both behavioral health and inpatient rehabilitation needs can experience improved outcomes simply due to having all their care needs meet under the same roof – devoid of transfer.
Once a hospital determines that their community would benefit from enhanced services such as specialized behavioral health or inpatient rehabilitation– or co-locating both – identifying the partnership model best suited to meet the hospital’s unique needs is an important next step.
3 Most Common Partnership Models
Often, merger and acquisitions are the most commonly referenced partnership types, but there are other proven models based on the hospital’s specific needs and opportunities.
- Joint-venture (JV): This option presents local hospitals with the opportunity to leverage the unique strengths, specialized expertise and resources of a national provider. All of which are designed to help the local hospital elevate its offering and expand patient access. This was the case for one community health group that was able to grow its average daily census of less than 100 to over 500 through a JV partnership model.4
- Contract management agreement: This is an ideal option for hospitals wanting to maintain full ownership while also tapping into the expertise of a focused partner. Contract management can also be a great place to start when considering a long-term partner. It gives both parties time to confirm that the organizations are a strong fit before moving into a joint venture.
- Hospital merger and acquisition (M&A): Since 2021, M&A activity has seen a 25 percent increase and is expected to continue to grow for years to come.5 M&As may be best for hospitals that lack the resources necessary to optimize complex processes, including revenue cycle, supply chain and productivity. They may also be appropriate for hospitals lacking expertise in operating highly specialized service lines such as behavioral health.
Each model offers its own unique benefits to the hospital, its patients and the community as a whole. Together, the right partners can identify the model and structure that best leverages each partner’s strengths and meets the opportunity.
To learn which partnership model can help address the unique needs of your community, visit LifepointRehabilitation.net.
- Myers, D. D. and K. (2019, December 2). Healthcare partnerships are a proven path to better care, healthier communities. Modern Healthcare. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.modernhealthcare.com/opinion-editorial/healthcare-partnerships-are-proven-path-better-care-healthier-communities
- Mullin, J. (2015, April 20). Where hospitals fared best in CMS'S new five-star ratings. Advisory Board. https://www.advisory.com/Blog/2015/04/Where-hospitals-fared-best-in-new-ratings.
- Miller, A. (2018). Overview: Positioning Specialty Hospitals for Success in Value Based Payment. Cope Health Solutions. https://copehealthsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Positioning-Specialty-Hospitals-for-Success-in-Value-based-Payments.pdf
- Post-Acute Partnership Options for Health Systems. Advisory Board. (2022). Retrieved February 10, 2023, from https://www.advisory.com/-/media/Project/AdvisoryBoard/shared/Research/PACC/Resources/2021/Post-Acute%20Partnership-Options-for-Health-Systems
- Herschman, G. W., Patel, A. D., Taylor, Z. S., Torres, H. M., Kocot, L., & Streicher, C. (2021, November 2). Volume of health-care deals remains at record pace for 2021. Bloomberg Law. Retrieved February 10, 2023, from https://news.bloomberglaw.com/health-law-and-business/volume-of-health-care-deals-remains-at-record-pace-for-2021
Lifepoint Rehabilitation works with more than 300 hospital-based programs nationwide to bring the best possible clinical and operational outcomes.