Three drivers behind the healthcare delivery transformation
Due to soaring healthcare costs over the last decade, there’s been a large shift in where care is delivered – no longer strictly in the inpatient (IP) setting of the hospital. Providers are embracing a number of trends and methods to lower the cost of care and steer patients to receive care in the outpatient (OP) setting – or even at home or on the go when possible. Also, health information is readily available online and accessible virtually anywhere through mobile apps on smartphones.
Below are three drivers in healthcare that are behind the shift in healthcare to non-traditional settings:
1. Reducing length of hospital stays and readmissions
The most expensive – and traditional – setting where care is delivered is the inpatient short-term acute care hospital. While hospital utilization is often unavoidable, providers are making significant efforts to reduce unnecessary length of stays and avoidable 30-day readmissions. The high cost of keeping a patient in the hospital has led to programs like ACA’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), which penalizes hospitals with high 30-day readmission rates by reducing CMS reimbursement. Research shows that the HRRP has been effective in driving hospitals to reduce 30-day readmissions. This incentive alignment among providers begs the question of how hospitals are addressing long lengths of stay and high readmission rates. This question can be answered by focusing on the transition of care from the hospital to the community.