Healthcare News & Insights

How collaborating with post-acute care providers can benefit your hospital

For many patients, hospital visits are just the beginning of a long road toward good health – one that includes other providers and organizations. Forming connections with the doctors who treat patients after they leave your care can boost revenue and improve a patient’s entire experience with the healthcare industry as a whole. 

As the populations of both older adults and patients with chronic diseases increase, the necessity for hospitals and post-acute care (PAC) providers to collaborate rises, too.

In response, hospitals are forming PAC-preferred provider networks, according to an article in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine (H&HN).

The networks aim to ease the transition between hospital and post-acute care by better aligning hospitals and PAC providers, such as primary care physicians. This collaboration is designed to streamline the transfer of care and reduce hospital readmissions.

Studies show referring hospital patients to PAC providers too soon can increase readmission rates, but when the PAC provider and hospital are in the same network, it’s easier to avoid confusion during the transition and better manage care.

Another benefit? Increased data sharing capabilities. H&HN brings up the potential for refining targeted interventions, since the data between PAC providers and hospitals could be combined and analyzed. Plus, treating patients within a network keeps them loyal to your organization, since the PAC provider and hospital are working hand-in-hand.

In addition, hospital-based programs designed for care transitions improve overall patient outcomes.

Planning post-acute care networks

Forming partnerships with PAC providers can be complicated, and there are many factors to consider. In order to properly assess the benefits of creating a new network, H&HN recommends:

  1. Laying out your objectives for working with PAC providers. Figuring out what your organization wants to achieve from partnering with other providers can help streamline the process of actually creating the network.
  2. Investigating the discharge process. It’s important to understand the discharge process and know where patients are discharged in order to determine which PAC providers would be the best partners. This information also can be used as proof for anyone questioning if these collaborations are a good idea. Additionally, investigating the process helps your organization see where it can improve, setting the network on a path to success.
  3. Assessing potential partners. Develop a framework for evaluating possible partners, and understand their objectives for partnering with you.

With more and more patients aging and developing chronic diseases, collaboration between PAC providers and hospitals is more vital than ever. Forming these partnerships can reduce readmissions and emergency department visits, and ultimately save your organization money.

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