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Post-acute care providers should be considering creative joint ventures with hospitals to best take advantage of evolving healthcare delivery and payment systems, healthcare finance and legal experts said recently in an Avalere Health webcast.
Healthcare reform has changed the way hospital systems are approaching post-acute care, said Wyatt Ritchie, a managing director at investment bank Cain Brothers. Medicare margins are better for post-acute care than acute care, so hospitals are increasingly seeking an “economic stake” in the post-acute system, Ritchie told the webcast audience. However, post-acute care run through a hospital system is typically starved for capital and has historically been difficult to administer. At the same time, readmission penalties are motivating hospitals to be choosier about referring discharges to post-acute facilities with lower rehospitalization rates.
“What we see here is the makings of why there should be joint ventures,” Ritchie said.
There is nothing new here in my view. Regency Nursing Centers has been collaborating with local hospitals to provide the highest level of post-acute care in the industry, thereby limiting re-hospitalizations.