I’ve had several conversations over the past couple of months, regarding the potential changes to health care if one candidate or the other gets elected. Now, with President-elect Trump on his way to the White House, curiosity has changed to prediction. It seems he will either ruin health care in our country or save it, there is no middle ground. While the conversations I have had are always entertaining, I find myself thinking they are also overly dramatic. I don’t think one man can change the course of our industry, at least not overnight.
In my opinion, long before Obamacare, acute and post-acute care providers have focused on improving care through innovations in care coordination. The terms may have been different, but the objectives were the same. The consistent belief is that the patient and the care provider both benefit when the patient spends less time in the hospital and more time in the transitional care environment and ultimately the home. Whether the Affordable Care Act is “repealed and replaced,” amended, or left alone, the industry will continue its focus and make progress.
Let’s take post-acute care for example. The objectives for post-acute care are clear. Provide care for higher acuity patients, in less acute (less costly) environments, while reducing re-admissions and controlling costs. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Not really. It’s about knowledge, or self-awareness, if you will. Companies, like Acute2020, have created tools that enable providers to assess capabilities and address weaknesses. Using tools such as they offer, a skilled nursing facility will have the knowledge to differentiate itself and accept admissions of patients for which they can adequately provide care, and avoid those for which they cannot. The payer will know who in their network can care for specific diagnoses. Most importantly, the patient will finally be in the right place, with the right skills, and receive the right care.
This is just one example. There are many areas in healthcare that are being reassessed and innovative approaches employed. Again, it’s all about the knowledge or data. Regardless of any political or socioeconomic pressures, I am confident that the wheels of progress in post-acute care will continue to turn. Mostly because we need them to.