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Post-Acute Care Providers Lack Data Sharing Capabilities, Worried About Lowered Reimbursement

February 13, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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A new survey of post-acute care provider organizations reveals lowered reimbursement, particularly from the government, is the number one pressing issue for nearly all of them in 2014. 
The survey, from the New York-based Black Book Market Research, looked at how executives at various long-term and post-acute care provider and stakeholder organizations, most notably nursing homes and long-term rehabilitation facilities, are dealing with the changing environment surrounding lowered fee-for-service reimbursements and impending value-based payment models. In total, 96 percent of the respondents at nursing homes and long-term rehabilitation facilities say lowered reimbursement from the government is their most pressing issue. The numbers are similar for executives at the various other types of organizations--home health services, skilled nursing and sub-acute facilities, hospices). 
Black Book also asked executives at this organizations to assess their information technology and patient data exchange capabilities. For nursing homes and long-term rehabilitation facilities, 79 percent of the respondents said their HIT was either poor or non-existent. The results were similar across the board, except at short-term rehabilitation/hospital post-acute care facilities and home health organizations, which both had less than half of the respondents saying their HIT was poor or non-existent. Although in both those places, executives said HIT and patient data exchange was minimal at best. 
The survey underscored the post-acute care providers' desire for improved patient data sharing and care coordination capabilities. Ninety-one percent of chief executives surveyed said that these capabilities would improve their organization's ability to thrive under accountable care and lowered fee-for-service reimbursements. The results were similar for other titles. 
Most post-acute care providers, it revealed, are capable of developing strategies to succeed with HIT. However, only if they have the external support of outside vendors and third-party consultants, which as the survey responses note, many can't afford. 
For these post-acute care providers, if they don't invest in HIT, data sharing, and analytics software, most believe they will be acquired by a larger corporation. Only large chains, representing six facilities or more, say that won't happen to them. Contrarily, the forward-thinking providers say they will participate in a health information exchange (HIE) to address accountable care reforms.    
“It is going to take a willingness to adapt and commit to using technology to confront the challenges ahead but post- acute organizations admit they are not prepared. They are still stuck in a volume-based care mindset,” Doug Brown, President of Black Book’s parent, Brown-Wilson Group, said in a statement. 


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