What You Should Know:
– Healthcare technology company Forcura names the five most significant trends for the post-acute care industry in 2021.
The post-acute care (PAC) sector saw some of its most profound challenges this year, from deadly COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to a suddenly accelerated need for the services provided by home health and hospice. The biggest question now is that what does the post-acute care future hold for all of us?
Forcura, a healthcare technology company that enables safer patient care transitions along the care continuum recently released their report, What Happened and What’s Next in Post-Acute Care,” which synthesizes the top takeaways for the post-acute care industry in 2020, and explores the five themes it projects will be the leading business influencers on the sector in 2021 and for years to come.
The report names these as the five most significant drivers for the post-acute care industry in 2021:
1. Interoperability: The Industry Inches Closer to a Lofty Goal
In its guide to “Interoperability in Healthcare,” HIMSS defines interoperability as “the ability of different information systems, devices and applications (systems) to access, exchange, integrate and cooperatively use data in a coordinated manner, within and across organizational, regional and national boundaries, to provide timely and seamless portability of information and optimize the health of individuals and populations globally.”
Individuals and organizations have worked tirelessly for years to create a technological foundation that will make care transitions safer and more holistic. They’ve made incredible progress…with patients and PAC providers beginning to reap the benefits of increased data sharing.
2. Healthcare will be Increasingly Built Around the Consumer
Service providers talk about the “user experience” and now users are finally seeking better care experiences. People are becoming savvier and more demanding about their healthcare in the same ways they have done so in consuming other services. While technology is certainly a component of the move towards patient centricity, it is a tool that enables or enhances care delivery. Post-acute care is poised for the shift to patient centricity.
3. Payment Models and Reimbursement Plans Remain in Play
The post-acute care industry will continue to be shaped by regulatory and financial forces. By being proactive, fully understanding the impacts of payment models (like unified payments), learning from the lessons of acute care payment reform, and choosing the right partners, PAC providers should be able to more confidently control their bottom lines in the coming year
4. New Business Models are Not Your Parents’ PAC
PAC companies themselves also are beginning to explore new options for their business operations. Post-acute care is being asked to deliver better patient outcomes and greater value – and it’s time to respond. Driven in part by the explosion of home-based health care services from legacy players and new entrants, PAC organizations will be scrambling to retain as much patient share as possible. By diversifying, providers can reduce the vulnerability experienced by single service line agencies.
5. Healthcare for All Remains Elusive
COVID-19 has revealed some harsh realities about the ongoing effects of structural inequity…to no one’s surprise. Some steps towards equity are occurring. Research led by Oregon Health & Science University shows that a new national care program for hip and knee joint replacements seems to reduce health outcome disparities for Black patients. The CMS Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model is a bundled payment model designed to reduce spending and improve outcomes for all joint replacement patients. “Although Black patients were discharged to institutional post-acute care more than white patients, the gap narrowed under the new bundled payment model. Readmission risk decreased about 3 percentage points for Black patients under the new model, and stayed roughly the same for Hispanic and white patients.”
“Everyone realizes that 2020 is historic for the unprecedented disruption and lives lost to the COVID-19 public health crisis” says Forcura founder and CEO, Craig Mandeville, “and operating in-the-moment has been a necessity. It has also possibly reduced the time the industry has to plan for what else is around the corner.” Craig continues, “Our original research and conversations from our CONNECT Summit clearly point to five market drivers that everyone should factor into their strategic initiatives. We’re proud to offer this report and believe it will guide health industry companies to focus more on patients and better secure their bottom lines.”
For more information, download the report here.