As a post-acute provider you will not be eligible to become your own ACO – ACOs will be formed by hospitals and physician groups for now; so as a rural provider you will need to decide if joining forces makes more sense, or if becoming their own regional referral center ACO makes more sense for your market.
From your position as a SNF; the “top” 2-3 things you can do now to prepare:
1) Get your operational (and) IT house in order to parallel your hospital(s) delivery model in these areas
2) Determine your differentiation / niche in your market, based on your local (and) 50-100 mile radius hospital DRG’s. As a regional referral center, specializing in top hospital DRG’s with overages in LOS works
3) Get a paperless system and IT outsource model in place that allows you to document, track, record and report your patient outcomes back to your ACOs
a. How have I improved care?
b. How have I reduced cost?
c. How have I reduced / eliminated readmissions back to the hospital w/in the 1st 30 days of discharge?
ACOs will be selecting partners / providers who can prove their success in the above 3 areas; setting yourself up to talk this language with ACOs is critical and partnering with the right IT outsource company can help you achieve this on an Independent Owner’s budget.
Independent Owners can flourish with ACOs because they now have access to the same or better IT tools and resources as the “giants” of the industry; yet in a more cost effective shared model. Healthcare is digitizing and “always on”. Independent Owners can more affordably and more quickly change to this model, because they don’t currently have the capital overhead invested in “their own” high cost IT departments; like the large chains do. Independent Owners also have more fluidity because of less bureaucracy.
ACOs are looking for cost effective partners that have improved care and reduced 30 day hospital readmissions. It won’t matter to them if you’re an Independent Owner or a large corporate chain. What will matter, is your ability to parallel their care delivery and reporting systems; your ability to document, track, record and report your patient outcomes, reduced readmissions, and improved cost model. This is as accessible to the Independent Owner today, as to the large corporate chains, because of healthcare IT outsource companies like VCPI.
Independent Owners make up over 50% of the SNF industry and will flourish by adapting to operational change.
Posted by: Renee’ Flis, National Sales Manager – Independent Owners