How to Build Accountable Post Acute Network

Guidehouse via HealthLeaders

Post-acute care organizations and the quality of care patients receive there have become such important issues to inpatient-focused organizations that they’re keeping score. At least, that’s the tactic Altamonte Springs, Florida–based Adventist Health System is using.

Beth Weagraff, corporate vice president of post-acute strategy and implementation, said developing a scoring system for skilled nursing facilities and home health companies used by the 46-hospital, nine-state health system helps focus Adventist on the fact that it’s on a path toward delivering “holistic” care that includes patient interactions with inpatient, outpatient, post-acute, and the physician office.

She said for other health systems, ensuring that owned post-acute assets are performing at the top of their game is important because of the agnostic nature of the network. Also, health systems should “be open to forging relationships with post-acute providers that you may not have known were in the market,” she said.  

Having a consulting firm with experience in setting up such networks provides objectivity, she said, adding that while Guidehouse is no longer involved in the program, the firm helped set up a framework and helped Adventist avoid internal politics in the process. “We’re on a journey to provide top-decile performance, so sometimes you need someone else to provide industry best practices,” she said. “They’ve worked with 40 health systems. If they get it set up, you can sustain it. That way if we ask them to come back and validate, it keeps their objectivity as well."

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