Webinar Recap: Top Post-Acute Trends and Takeaways for 2018

Post-acute is front and center in the value-based care movement, as this is where many of the cost reduction, efficiencies, and quality improvement initiatives are taking place. This puts post-acute providers under heightened scrutiny – from their partners, from payers, from consumers, and of course from CMS.

As part of our thought leadership webinar series, Jeff Merselis, our VP of Business Development, hosted a discussion on the top five trends PAC providers need to be aware of this year, along with strategies to succeed in 2018. Read on for a brief recap of the trends and key takeaways from the webinar and then download the recording for the full presentation with slides.

Trend #1: Get ready for your Medicare haircut. Faced with a barrage of incentives and financial penalties for nearly a decade, hospitals have undertaken numerous initiatives to reduce their readmission rates, and now it’s the SNFs’ turn. CMS’s Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing program ties both financial incentives and penalties to a SNF’s rehospitalization performance scores.

Takeaway: The time to act is now. Even though SNFs won’t get their “haircut” until October 1, the performance data for year 1 of the program has already been collected. SNFs have until March 31 to review their reports for errors. Then, in August CMS will post the SNF performance scores. We are now in the performance window for year 2, so SNFs should be actively monitoring how they’re trending and taking steps to improve their scores.

Trend #2: Prepare for greater accountability and cost transparency. PACs can expect to see an increased demand for outcomes metrics, spurred largely by value-based care programs, but also care partners and consumer demand.

Takeaway: Patient population attributions are even more essential in a value-based environment. And beyond clinical insights from EMRs, claims, and other systems, all providers – including PACs – need interconnected insights that span the entire acute and post-acute spectrum.

Trend #3: Get your data house in order. The number of constituents that are now looking at a PAC provider’s data is nothing less than staggering. There are more-and-more information-hungry consumers, savvy competitors, patient advocates, providers, payers, policy makers, state agencies, insurers – all with specific needs that can make it overwhelming to know where or how to begin.

Takeaway: Carve out funds or dedicate an FTE (e.g., Chief Data Officer or Clinical Data Analyst) for data management. Find the stories in your data, build compelling messages, and share with your audiences in the broader context of your partnerships. If you’re not a top performer in some areas, acknowledge that and share your improvement plan.

Trend #4: Find your niche and self-promote. Research has shown that greater SNF specialization is tied to both improved outcomes and less variation in care quality.

Takeaway: Move beyond geographic proximity for referrals and the dated “heads in beds” mantra. Instead, identify and align your unique strengths (look to your data stories!) with your unique market needs to put the “right head, in the right bed.” A resident placed in the most appropriate care setting diminishes the likelihood of an unnecessary return to hospital, and everyone wins.

Trend #5: Managing care transitions. Are you seeing the whole picture? A final trend that is intensifying this year is the need for better care transitions across the post-acute spectrum.

Takeaway: As the volume of care transitions across multiple, previously siloed settings continues to increase, data-sharing and interoperability are musts. Real-time notifications via ADT alerts are a great first step connecting fragmented health systems, but care teams also want deeper clinical insights on their patients – across all care settings, especially in post-acute.

Download the webinar recording for the full discussion of each trend and to hear case studies featuring real provider organizations that have implemented the solutions suggested during the presentation.