I have been posting information for two years now on the importance of knowing the metrics of your facility. Many providers have taken a wait and see approach but changes affecting reimbursement are beginning to happen now. We are seeing clients who are faced with managed care organizations who are partnering with post acute-care management companies to manage long-term acute care (LTCA), inpatient rehab (IRF) and skilled nursing facility (SNF) utilization and ACO’s who are partnering with SNFs in bundled payment initiatives.
I believe it is imperative that providers proactively start to look at ways to reduce your length of stay and your cost of providing services. The market for skilled nursing care is anticipated to shrink so now is the time to begin to strategically look for ways to offset that shift.
The scrutiny around what happens to Medicare beneficiaries in the 30-day post-acute phase of their care following hospital admission will affect all providers in the health care continuum and it is everybody’s responsibility to seek and develop solutions. Partnering with providers in your continuum and even your competitors is essential to ensure quality services continue to be provided for the beneficiaries we serve.
I encourage you to reach tighten up the processes that will make you an attractive partner and referral choice particularly your length of stay, hospital readmission rates, and cost per episode of care along with clinical quality metrics and then reach out to share that story with your referral sources. This can also open the door to partner with them on solutions to the problems. After all their problems are your problems when you really think about it and if we are all honest, none of us individually have the answers to these challenges but together the battle can be won and the winner will be not only the providers but the beneficiaries we serve.