• So Long to Silos: Why Health Systems Must Embrace Interoperability Now Image

    articleSep 9, 2016 | 5 min. read

    So Long to Silos: Why Health Systems Must Embrace Interoperability Now

    Rome wasn’t built in a day—and interoperability across all health data systems won’t be achieved overnight. In fact, we’ve been paving the road to complete connectivity for several years now , and there’s still no definitive end in sight. But now, more than ever, the companies providing those systems have some serious incentive to hasten the pace of their construction efforts: I’m talking about the nationwide push toward value-based, patient-centered care delivery . After all, to succeed …

  • PT in the ED: Why Hospitals are Bringing Rehab Therapy to the Emergency Room Image

    articleSep 2, 2016 | 5 min. read

    PT in the ED: Why Hospitals are Bringing Rehab Therapy to the Emergency Room

    In TV hospital dramas, the emergency room is a place for trauma—the gushing-blood, broken-bone, mangled-limb variety. Those ailments don’t exactly fall into the wheelhouse of most physical and occupational therapists, which is why many ER or Grey’s Anatomy fans would be surprised to see a PT or OT cameo in an emergency department scene. But, as with many Hollywood-manufactured depictions of the world, this one doesn’t quite match up to real life. In fact, a growing number …

  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Reducing Readmissions Despite Earlier Discharges Image

    articleAug 18, 2016 | 4 min. read

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Reducing Readmissions Despite Earlier Discharges

    If healthcare reform had a tagline, it’d probably include the phrase, “more for less.” In other words, most reform efforts fall in line with the ubiquitous call for providers across the entire healthcare spectrum to deliver higher-quality care at a lower cost. This have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too approach to change places a heavy burden on the leaders responsible for ensuring their organizations live up to that lofty tagline—and that’s especially true for those leaders at the helm of large hospital …

  • What the New HCAHPS Proposal Means for the Future of Hospital-Based PT  Image

    articleAug 11, 2016 | 3 min. read

    What the New HCAHPS Proposal Means for the Future of Hospital-Based PT

    When a patient is in pain, that patient wants relief—fast. And even if the patient knows medication is only a temporary fix—and a potentially dangerous one, at that—he or she will probably still choose drugs over longer-lasting, less-instant treatment options like physical therapy. For healthcare providers beholden to payment structures that incentivize patient satisfaction, that preference presents a real pickle: give the patient what he or she wants—long-term consequences be damned—or risk lower satisfaction scores (and potentially …

  • Closing the Loop: Why PTs are Critical to ACO Success Image

    articleJul 21, 2016 | 7 min. read

    Closing the Loop: Why PTs are Critical to ACO Success

    Last year, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its plan to link half of all Medicare fee-for-service payments to alternative payment models by 2018. That’s only a year and a half away, which means the clock is ticking—and the demand for alternative model adoption is increasing. If you work in a large healthcare organization—especially a hospital—you undoubtedly already know about one such model that’s been garnering quite a lot of attention across the …

  • 3 Things That Keep Hospital CEOs Up at Night Image

    articleJul 8, 2016 | 5 min. read

    3 Things That Keep Hospital CEOs Up at Night

    For hospital C’s—C-suite executives, that is—catching some Z’s might seem like an exercise in futility. And understandably so; after all, the growing pressure to simultaneously control costs and improve care quality is enough to turn even the heaviest sleeper into an insomniac. If you work or practice in a hospital setting, you’ve probably noticed—or even been the one to implement—some reform-driven changes to your facility’s operational processes. But, what’s really driving those changes—and is there a better …

  • Go, Go, ACO: Making Sense of Medicare’s New Alternative Payment Rules Image

    articleJun 30, 2016 | 5 min. read

    Go, Go, ACO: Making Sense of Medicare’s New Alternative Payment Rules

    Earlier this month, CMS laid down a final rule that rewrote—or at least revised—the book on accountable care organization (ACO) participation. We’ll dive into the deets in a minute, but the key takeaway here is that this rule represents yet another leap toward the transition to a value-based healthcare payment environment. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: when it comes to pushing the healthcare system to deliver more and spend less, the federal government …

  • Why PTs Should Approach ACOs with Caution Image

    articleMay 28, 2015 | 6 min. read

    Why PTs Should Approach ACOs with Caution

    While many ACOs are enjoying success , that hasn’t been the case for everyone—especially when it comes to CMS-sponsored programs. As of September 2014, only 19 of the original 32 organizations that joined the Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program were still involved. Despite the program’s total savings of more than $384 million over two years, the economic model didn’t work for all participants. Some of the Pioneer organizations weren’t able to make large enough improvements in …

  • Payment Reform is Coming: What PTs Must do to Prepare Image

    articleMay 26, 2015 | 5 min. read

    Payment Reform is Coming: What PTs Must do to Prepare

    When it comes to payment reform, the wheels of change are already in motion—and as you’ve learned in this post on payment models and this one on the proposed PT payment system overhaul, there’s no stopping this train. But forward motion is typically a sign of progress, and that certainly holds true in this case. Because by aligning themselves with the push to reform payment structures and processes to better align with the so-called triple aim—that is, …

  • To ACO or Not to ACO: The Efficacy Question Image

    articleMay 20, 2015 | 4 min. read

    To ACO or Not to ACO: The Efficacy Question

    Yesterday, I told you about accountable care organizations (ACO) and how they might affect your physical therapy practice . Just one of several alternative payment models , the ACO approach seems to foster better and more expedient care, lower costs, and greater emphasis on physical therapists’ role as care coordinators. But CMS has experienced high dropout rates with its Pioneer program, and Medicare has already gone through three iterations of its ACO model, including the recent release …

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