Building partnerships with post-acute providers

Four insights for managing the "Wild West" of health care spending

Over the last fifteen years, spending on post-acute care facilities has risen at an unsustainable rate. As the chart below indicates, average post-acute spending for heart attack patients alone has increased by more than 250% since 1994.

Comparative growth in 365-day episode Medicare spending

With ACOs and other risk-based contracts growing more widespread, provider organizations are becoming financially responsible for the full cost of their patients’ care. To succeed in this new payment environment, they must find ways to control post-acute care spending.

The good news? There are plenty of opportunities to do so. MedPac estimates that a full 73% of spending variation between Medicare patients comes from post-acute care. By identifying and directing patients to high-quality, low-cost post-acute care facilities, providers can lower this variation.

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