Oh, “The times they are a-changin”


For years I have wondered why hospitals were not more aggressive in partnering with home health agencies.  Patients would get instructions, discharge paperwork, and sent on their way with no follow-up in the post-acute world. Readmission to the hospital was not an issue, and actually the hospitals benefited financially when a patient returned.

Oh the times they have changed….

Medicare reported last year that they are fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for readmissions of patients that return within a month for additional treatments.

Last year, nearly 18 percent of Medicare patients who had been hospitalized were readmitted within a month. Roughly 2 million patients return a year, costing Medicare $26 billion. Officials estimate $17 billion of that comes from potentially avoidable readmissions.

As hospitals begin to feel some impact from readmission penalties, partnerships with home health agencies are being embraced with unprecedented enthusiasm, said leaders of home health, hospice and comprehensive post-acute health care services provider LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG), as reported in Home Health Care News, this week.

With the need for hospitals to partner with post-acute organizations, like home care, how can you as a home care agency stand out to get an audience with these hospitals and health systems?

As I’m sure you know the two key components to success in this area and environment are interoperability and meaningful real time outcome data.

Are you providing the services, and programs in home care that will help prevent readmissions to the hospital? Are you able to track the detailed data needed to market your success?

The other key component to your success in engaging with your referral sources is interoperability. Better handling of patient transitions from one level of care to another and from one provider to another rapidly with your EMR, is critical.

I would be interested in discussing these two areas, and learn what your strategy is to be relevant to your all-important referral sources.  {{cta(’62e7740e-9adb-4c61-bc64-a5e347fd2384′)}}