By Doug Johnson, Stroudwater Associates

As the healthcare industry moves toward value-based payment models, hospitals, health systems, ACOs, and health plans have increasingly recognized the importance of post-acute care as a key component of their organization’s care continuum.

Effective care transitions between a hospital and a nursing home or other post-acute/long-term care setting can greatly improve the patient experience and reduce the chances of unplanned readmission to the hospital.

This is especially important today, given CMS began reducing Medicare payments for Inpatient Prospective Payment System hospitals with excess readmissions in 2012.