Hospital Readmission Penalties and Skilled Nursing Opportunity

Skilled Nursing Opportunity

Health care reform offers a new gleam of opportunities for Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility (SNF). Commonly known to consumers as Nursing Homes, the potential business growth came after the recent data released by Medicare regarding the readmission rate of the hospitals. The report shows that readmission of patients with heart failure from June 2008 to June 2011, has only 0.1%. This data did not show any remarkable decrease at all. On the other hand, patients with pneumonia increased up to 18.5%. Based on this data, it shows that the hospitals are not making any progress on their effort to lower readmission rates. Because of this, Medicare announced that starting October 1, 2012, penalties will be imposed to hospitals for readmissions on these specific illnesses. This policy is imposed under the Affordable Care Act or ACA.

Hospital Readmission Penalties

Moving towards the Medicare’s goal to lessen health expenses and improve care quality, thus HRRP or Hospital Readmission Reduction Program will move as planned. Hospitals that have higher rates of readmission will have their Medicare payments reduced up to 1% in 2013 and up to 3% in 2015. This is not good news to hospitals but it has given new opportunities for Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities.

On the height of this report, some look at it as unconstitutional. Yet, several health experts see positive opportunities. With this program, they can see that the relationship between hospitals and skilled nursing facilities can be strengthened. SNF’s can help hospitals to reduce readmission and patients can be given coordinated and professional care in a sub-acute environment with round the clock nursing care.

With this initiative, Facilities have many opportunities and can work together with hospitals. Partnership between hospitals and SNF’s will be good for the patients regarding excessive and expensive fees. Furthermore Accountable Care Organization or ACO’s will also provide incentives for health providers that reduce readmission.

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