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The Transition to Value-Based Care Presents a Challenge to Post-Acute and Non-Acute Care: Podcast

Post-acute and non-acute care are changing dramatically with the transition to value-based care. Organizations must ramp up their attention to competency, care quality, and efficiency to establish themselves as the providers of choice to work with acute care hospitals. Employees are key to this change, and HealthStream provides solutions to help organizations invest in creating highly trained and competent staff across the continuum of care.

In this episode of our podcast, we spoke to Vickie Harris, the President and founder of QEC Partners, and the current board chair of the Middle Tennessee Council on Aging, about how post-acute and non-acute providers will need to adapt to survive in the world of value-based care. Listen to hear why Vickie has a reputation as an innovative and strategic thought leader related to care system improvement and integration that supports person-centered services.

Below is an edited excerpt from the recording with HealthStream’s Brad Weeks, our host:

Brad Weeks:

What inspires you most about the post-acute or non-acute market?

Vickie Harris:

Well, if you just step back and look at the post-acute and the non-acute market sectors, that’s where the most significant opportunities for improvement will lie in the future. I know that significant dollars are spent on the acute care side, but that’s [only] episodic. So, as we move toward value-based healthcare delivery and population health management, we’re looking at the whole person. Those three to five days in the hospital is not where the significant gains will occur. It will be in the community.

Our clients, those who are patients in the healthcare system for a short period of time, are in the community, and we’ve got to figure out how do we support them with infrastructure, information to help guide them to better decision-making, as well as navigation of services to support their health status. I find that very exciting because that’s a place we’ve not been before in this country because we’ve been so focused on the acute care side. We’ve been so focused on the episodic and all the evidence has pointed out that that fragmentation, just focusing on a sick care system is not the path that we can continue to take and it be sustainable.

Brad Weeks:

What are some of the greatest challenges, or maybe some of the greatest gaps, that you see need repair or closure in the post-acute setting?

Vickie Harris:            

In the post-acute setting, what we’re seeing happening as a result of initiatives coming out of the Affordable Care Act is the closing of the gap between post-acute and acute. Now, that has been a huge challenge for acute care, knowing which partners to pick, and how to pick them, and how to sustain them. We don’t talk the same language.

I refer to our healthcare delivery system as this quilt that’s been designed over the last 50 years or so, since the passage of Medicare, that we didn’t have a master design plan for. It was just whatever piece of fabric that happened to pop up, we sewed it on, attached it to it. Our reimbursement programs were tailored based on sectors and did not facilitate talking the same language. We’re overcoming that and, of course, acute care takes the lead and we have to learn post-acute, as well as non-acute community providers, as how do we fit into the DRG language and to the workflows of the acute care system. Prior to this, there’s been no incentive to do so.

Listen to the full HealthStream Podcast.

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