As health systems move toward accountable care models, the challenges involved in effectively managing post-acute care are becoming more clear, according to a new KLAS report — Post-Acute Care Perception 2013: High Hopes and Big Plans.
The study found that although many organizations view post-acute care as a critical component of improving health outcomes and reducing the total cost of care, leaders are running into a number of obstacles, including razor-thin reimbursements, conflicting priorities, and strained resources.
“For most health systems today, post-acute care seems like a mirage when it comes to the care continuum,” said report author Erik Bermudez. “They can see it in front of them as an important component of their go-forward strategy, but when the time comes to make post-acute care a reality within their continuum of care, it’s simply not ready. For most, there’s a lot of foundation yet to be laid.”
For post-acute care facilities, the biggest obstacle in aligning with a hospital is payment reform (51 percent), while hospitals cited interoperability (57 percent) as the top hindrance. Although most enterprise vendors have a homecare solution, nearly all of them perform below average and interoperability is still limited with inpatient EMRs, KLAS found. The report identified long-term care (LTC) and rehabilitation as the biggest technology gaps for enterprise vendors, noting that MEDITECH was the only enterprise vendor to offer an LTC-specific solution.
According to the study, homecare solutions from best-of-breed vendors Thornberry, Delta, and Homecare Homebase outperformed enterprise solutions, and HealthMEDX, MDI Achieve, and PointClickCare performed well in the standalone LTC market. However, even though enterprise vendors lack formal LTC and rehabilitation solutions, they remain the choice for most ACO-oriented hospitals who cannot afford to invest in and interface with an additional vendor.
Some of the products reviewed in the report include offerings from Allscripts, CareAnyware, Cerner, Delta, Epic, HealthMEDX, HealthWyse, Homecare Homebase, McKesson, MDI Achieve, MEDITECH, NTT Data, PointClickCare, Procura and Thornberry.