Black Book Research surveyed 1,640 providers of long-term and post-acute care facilities to help stakeholders in the industry address the higher growth/demand for post-acute services in the challenging environment of lower fee-for-service reimbursements and impending valued-based payment models.
Survey results show that nearly 90% of skilled nursing and sub-acute facilities forecast no portion of their payments will shift to value-based care in 2020 due to lack of IT capabilities and preparation.
Black Book’s annual post-acute IT user survey determines if there are more efficient ways to improve post-acute patient care while keeping providers accountable for improving quality and reducing costs through effective use of healthcare information technology. Specifically, the survey reported on health information exchanges (public and private), quality reporting, health analytics, workflow and care coordination, and patient engagement software/systems.
Key findings include:
Electronic health record adoption
Inpatient post-acute providers, overall, responded that 21% have some technological capabilities of EHRs operational in Q4 2019, as compared to 15% in 2016. Corporate chains and large nonprofit systems report the highest adoption rates among network post-acute care facilities nearing 40% as compared to 27% in 2016. The slow adoption rate and fragmented health IT environments are attributed to the different levels of technology investment and conflicting cultural priorities that prevent all providers from working together in a data-driven harmony. The study reveals 84% of post-acute administrators report having no budgeted funds for technology acquisitions or improvements in 2019.
“All healthcare organizations must find better ways to manage the patient transition into post-acute processes and keep hospital readmissions in check, and that may fall completely on hospital systems at risk in 2020,” says Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research. “That answer will require the expansion of technology capabilities to connect physician practices, home health agencies, hospices, outpatient settings, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, DME firms, and hospitals.”
Of the post-acute providers surveyed, 49% assess the state of their staff’s health information technology proficiency as extremely poor or non-existent.
Long-term care administrators report 86% of their facilities are not exchanging health information electronically with referring hospitals, physicians, or home health providers (indicating no improvements in data sharing as compared to the 2017 survey). The far majority (96%) of those sharing some records with acute care providers are networked in closed silo health system EHRs with the long-term care centers. “The enormous disconnect between the post-acute world and the rest of the continuum is not correcting as hoped,” Brown says. “Finding ways to improve communications between disparate acute care EHRs and post-acute technology is a pressing problem for detached providers.”