Securing Hospital Relationships
Hospital relationships are a critical component for success within the current post-acute care (PAC) environment. With hospitals now more willing than ever to listen, building these relationships should be one of the top priorities for skilled nursing providers and other PAC providers. Most likely, a partnership is the approach to take, rather than simply a referral source engagement. To be a successful post-acute provider in the ever-changing world of value-based payments, the partnership way of thinking should be top of mind.
The discussion and agreement of collaboration between a hospital and post-acute provider is only the first step. The real work is in continuing to build the relationship and execute on the partnership. This requires many initiatives, programs, and laser-focused collaboration primarily with the case management team, which may include a social worker and a case manager, among others. The fact is, hospitals’ case management teams are starting to or, in some cases, are forced to realize that partnering with the post-acute care provider is important to achieving success in the new landscape.
PAC providers are essential partners in ensuring a move out of the hospital is efficient and safe. The PAC provider can provide enormous value to the hospital when it understands what the needs are in the acute-care setting.
For one, the hospital has a need to reduce the length of stay. The PAC provider can provide value by having patients admitted immediately once the hospital is ready to discharge. A last-minute rejection of a patient can put the hospital in a bind. One way to avoid rejections is to ensure the hospital can contact the provider by phone and admit patients 24/7.
Second, and critically important, is supporting the hospital’s need to reduce readmissions. The PAC provider is the main partner to help with this challenge by gathering information about the patient, if they are readmitted, and proactively sharing it with the case management team. The sharing of information and communication is critical to reduce readmissions.
Lastly, the hospital must improve overall efficiency when working with a referral source. The provider can help by making it easy to communicate and ensuring a contact is always on standby. The hospital must have the ability to verify the provider has the capacity and capability to care for the patient.
Successful hospitals want to engage with and understand the needs of their PAC providers. However, communication and collaboration is key. PAC providers need to show their value and work tirelessly to secure the relationships and ensure a partnership’s mutual success.
Download the 1Q2016 Skilled Nursing Data Report