Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are increasingly realizing that they must establish post-acute care networks of preferred providers in order to control costs and maintain quality of care for their post-discharge patients.
When it comes to optimizing networks of post-acute care providers—which include skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, home health care, and hospice and palliative care—the healthcare industry has lots of room for improvement.
More than 40% of Medicare beneficiaries receive post-acute care after a hospital discharge, which cost Medicare more than $60 billion in 2015. Additionally, 73% of overall Medicare geographical spending variance can be attributed to post-acute care utilization variation, according to the Institutes of Medicine. This variation is associated with increased costs and lower quality and outcomes.