As financial strain continues to impact hospitals across the country, health leaders are seeking partnership to increase financial stability amid an ever-changing healthcare landscape. Partnership can help hospitals effectively obtain additional resources to provide high-quality care to the right patient, in the right care setting and at the right time. It can also substantially improve service lines, patient access and the overall patient experience.
Read this guide to discover how hospital leaders can overcome today’s unique challenges and make the most of the growing opportunity through joint-venture or contract management rehabilitation partnership – ultimately benefitting your hospital’s financial performance.
Hospital Partnership Opportunities Amid a Unique Healthcare Landscape
Hospital success depends on proactively identifying efficiency opportunities and growth in services that will treat the needs of patients brought on by or exacerbated by the pandemic, while also bolstering the hospital’s bottom line. Partnering with an experienced post-acute provider streamlines the care continuum and can have a substantial influence on hospital outcomes.1
5 Benefits of Rehabilitation Partnership for Overall Hospital Success
“Substantial financial value can be seen from developing a strong post-acute strategy,”2 as cited by the Advisory Board. With the help of an experienced partner, hospitals can enhance their post-acute strategies in five key ways:
Improved Performance Under Value-Based Care
The shift to value-based care has pushed hospitals to reduce spending while improving quality and outcomes. A study of value-based trends found that more than a third of national reimbursement contracts are now value-based. This percentage has trended upward every year since 2015.3
Coordinated, specialized care can improve a hospital’s clinical outcomes as well as its bottom line.
As managed care and other value-based reimbursement strategies become a bigger part of the equation, it will be even more important to conduct care in a way that makes the most of the limited funds health systems often have available.
A post-acute partnership strategy aids in a successful transition to value-based care. It helps equip hospital staff and leadership with the resources to increase care quality and efficiency, make more timely transfers to post-acute settings, reduce readmission risk and generate long-term cost savings for the entire health system.
Increased Care Efficiency to Reduce Readmissions
Rehospitalizations and other transfers in the post-acute continuum can lead to poor patient satisfaction and care quality, ultimately creating negative financial consequences. Research shows that some of the lowest-performing hospitals around the nation can experience readmission penalties two to three times higher than those performing at an average rate.2
Through specialized expertise, access to national resources and data, and a team with a focused ability to recruit and retain top talent, a rehabilitation partner can greatly expand a hospital’s ability to provide excellent patient care in an efficient manner. Further, a rehabilitation partner can help produce faster recovery times, reduce care costs for both the patient and hospital, and can create a more positive patient experience from admission to discharge.
Supports Medicare’s “Triple Aim”
Successfully managing all aspects of a rehabilitation unit has become more challenging due to the growing complexity of patients treated, increased readmission risks and the expansion of value-based care integration. However, if a health system is able to achieve an effective post-acute strategy it can better manage the intricacies of the program – therefore increasing care quality in a cost-conscious way.
Rehabilitation partnership supports Medicare’s triple aim, helping to:
- Enhance care. Provide exceptional care to individuals through high-quality programs aimed at improving a patient’s health and independence.
- Improve community health. Expanding health access to those who need it most improves the community’s overall health. Experienced rehabilitation partners also have access to the latest national trends and resources beyond the data available to individual facilities. This allows local programs to be equipped with best-in-class treatment plans to effectively treat a wider variety of complex conditions.
- Lower care cost. Greater patient access, expertise and quality lead to better outcomes, lower length of stay and reduced readmissions. Additionally, facilities are able to more effectively deploy resources and improve operational efficiency, further lowering costs.
An effective partner will also have a well-organized system for efficiently transitioning patients through phases of care. Careful management helps ensure patients enter rehabilitation at the right time in their care journey and stay for an appropriate recovery period. This helps lower per-patient costs, improves regulatory compliance and enables patients requiring specialized care to receive high-quality care from admission to discharge.
Specialized Care for COVID-19 and Medically Complex Patients
Throughout the pandemic, specialty hospitals – including inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units – have played an invaluable role in the public health response. Research notes that 20 percent of patients recovering from COVID-19 require facility-based rehabilitation.4 This value was shown through the interdisciplinary rehabilitation teams who have helped patients recover from severe clinical presentations of COVID-19.
Hospitals that partnered with experts to operate their inpatient rehabilitation program prior to the pandemic were often better prepared to take on the fluctuations in care, including patient volume, recruitment challenges, advanced safety protocols and new therapies for COVID-19 patients.
The need for hospital flexibility both now and in the future will remain vital for long-term outcomes and hospital success.
Streamlined Patient Care Path
As stated in the guide, "10 Steps to Optimize Your Rehabilitation Unit," research notes that rehabilitation therapy services are expected to continue to grow following COVID-19 through 2028. With this expected growth, it is important to evaluate where patients are going to receive rehabilitative care and where there is an opportunity to keep patients within the system.
Expanding post-acute services within the hospital’s care continuum helps the hospital to have more control over outcomes, reduce care transitions and help maintain patient satisfaction throughout the care journey.
How Partnership Can Help with Hospital Financial Performance
Partnering with a focused rehabilitation expert can ease the burden of managing inpatient rehabilitation, increase patient access, and help improve clinical quality and operational efficiency – all of which can ultimately help the hospital achieve greater financial performance.
Lifepoint works with more than 300 hospital-based programs nationwide to help them achieve greater success and improved outcomes.
- Deloitte Insights. (2020, October). Equipping physicians for value-based care. Deloitte Insights. https://www2.deloitte. com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/physicians-guidevalue- based-care-trends.html.
- Barlow, K. (2018, August 2). Unlocking the Financial Benefits of a Post-Acute Strategy. Advisory Board. https://www. advisory.com/Topics/Post-Acute-Care/2018/08/Unlockingthe- Financial-Benefits-of-a-Post-Acute-Strategy.
- Gold, J., & Duvall, S. (2020, June). The Next Decade of Value-Based Care. Hany's Managed Care. https://www.hanys. org/communications/publications/healthcare_intelligence_ reports/docs/2020-06_the_next_decade_of_value_based_ care.pdf
- Fary Khan, MBBS, MD, FAFRM (RACP), Bhasker Amatya, DMedSci, MD, MPH, Medical Rehabilitation in Pandemics: Towards a New Perspective, Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Vol. 52, Issue 4, April 9, 2020