Patient Recovery Increases with Longer Post-Acute Stays

Longer stays at a post-acute rehab facility helps patient recovery. According to a new study conducted by JAMA Network, increased results in the recovery of hip fracture surgery in a skilled nursing or rehab facility is tied to the patient’s length of stay.  The results suggest patients may not reach their full recovery potential in a shorter length of stay. Patients particularly those with medium functional gains have trouble with shorter rehabilitation. If a patients’ length of stay is less than 21 days this can impact recovery and productivity. Patients typically gain functional independence around 28 days into their rehabilitation.

In cases where patients have not fully recovered during their stay, the burden is then passed onto the family or caregivers, home health, or outpatient services. In order to ensure a successful recovery, post-acute care teams must identify the patient’s recovery goal early on in their treatment. By doing so, this will promote the best possible outcomes and efficiently allocate any resources needed.

Medicare payment models for post-acute care services are transitioning from a volume-based model to value-based models. 

Volume-based Model

A fee-for-service model, or a volume-based, reimburse the healthcare provider for particular services and creates an incentive to provide more. This model is dependent on the provider and has led to an increased emphasis on “medical necessity” and pre-authorization of services by third-parties.  

Value-based Model

There are a number of payment models available in a value-based system. A Shared Savings payment will calculate the total annual spending compared with targeted goals. Bundles will emphasize particular conditions, reasons for a hospital stay, and durations. Healthcare organizations can save money and provide in-depth care by bundling. 

The Future of Change

This change in post-acute care, where longer stays helps patient recovery, is intended to encourage healthcare professionals to optimize the functional gains of their patients. This also will help to minimize costs and lessen the financial incentives to provide more therapy than necessary. Dr. Mallinson from the JAMA Network study concludes, “The inclination is typical to give a patient more therapy per day, but perhaps more isn’t always the right thing to do. Maybe a longer stay is the right thing for some patients.”

At South Coast Post Acute we pride ourselves on providing top-notch care for all our patients’ needs. We provide a skilled nursing facility and offer a caring community to accommodate a range of post-acute services.

Contact us today to learn more about South Coast Post Acute!