Post-acute facilities have become a viable option for hospitals to expand their financial returns. Here are the top financial reasons why post-acute care is crucial to healthcare and hospital systems:
- Volume Opportunity: 40% of Medicare patients discharged to post-acute care (2011).
- Growing Market Demand: Post-acute care targets elderly patients (65+), a segment that will grow to 54.8 million by 2020.
- Financial Effectiveness: Lower cost structures in post-acute facilities can help strengthen hospitals bottom-line.
- Integration may reduce Length of Stay (LOS) issues: alignment could reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting for a discharge location.
- Reduce system leakage: Discharge to post-acute facilities in competitors’ systems can bypass Medicare benefits for your system.
Post-acute facilities are gaining an upper hand over hospitals as care value becomes the determinant of Medicare reimbursement. Value-based care adoption is going to gauge compensation on overall healthcare provided, not just the stage where the hospital is involved. This heightens the risk of spreading Medicare compensation thin among facilities, making financial reimbursement far less valuable for large healthcare centers. Hospitals should begin coordinating with post-acute care facilities to distribute savings and develop bundled payments.