I picked up a fantastic article today by Kevin McMahon, MPA, LNHA, writing for LTL.
Both the acute care and post-acute care (PAC) industries have their full attention focused on the much discussed and hyper-analyzed 30-day readmission metric. On the acute care side, this number determines whether a reimbursement penalty will be applied—affecting revenue streams. On the PAC side, the number increasingly will be used to judge the quality of PAC partners and ultimately communicate that information to discharging patients. High stakes stuff for sure. Unfortunately the fixation on this magical metric might be obscuring various subtle and more nuanced aspects of this readmission puzzle.
As I have considered this metric and its implications both as a PAC administrator and in my current job on the acute care side of the of the healthcare world, I have stumbled on three not-so-obvious angles that PAC providers need to be aware of and, if at issue, develop a means to address.