Cost Cutting Consequences: Improper Discharges Home, Financial Strains for SNFs

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2019 12:43 PM

According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, hospitals working to cut costs due to new payment models, could have negative consequences on patients. 

Alternative payment models include accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payment programs, where providers along the continuum work together while sharing a single payment for certain episodes of care. 

These payment models make it more likely that hospitals will discharge patients to their home even if they need institutional care.  “Payment reforms can be a blunt instrument, and it may become difficult to distinguish low-value from high-value use of post-acute care,” the article authors wrote. “There is an enormous evidence gap regarding how much and what type of post-acute care is best for which patient.”

This will also affect Skilled Nursing Facilities as they depend on the margins from Medicare patients to offset the losses sustained from Medicaid patients.

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