What a difference one year makes

Just one year ago, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched new federal initiatives to crack down on billing fraud and inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs among residents with dementia. During the same year, CMS also launched new federal initiatives to reduce 30-day rehospitalizations and instituted new guidelines for infection control—both of which all LTC organizations should have been striving for all along anyway.

Last year, many LTL organizations were still mulling over whether EHRs would be worth their time and trouble, despite the long-standing data suggesting that EHR technology on the LTC side would be crucial for enabling the federal “transitions of care” initiatives. This year, 83 percent of our surveyed readers already have an EHR or are actively planning an installation. Advanced technology is increasingly being used to keep residents from wandering, and a whopping 82 percent of this year’s responding readers offer their residents wireless Internet access.

Just one year ago, many LTC organizations were scrambling to discern their possible new roles in the burgeoning world of long-term and post-acute care, and how they could play best in it—including how to handle the new and rapidly advancing realm of home healthcare—one of the most intriguing question marks in today’s realm of LTC delivery.

Is home healthcare going to be seen as the “bully” to the established long-term care industry? Will we view home healthcare as a formidable and legit comrade, or as a home-wrecker to our status quo? All this has made the whole LTC industry think long and hard. Do established services really serve the current needs? If not, what would it take to change that?

At June’s Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Health IT Summit, all the talk was about collaboration and about finding new ways to share data that could improve care quality, especially during care transitions between hospitals and LTC facilities. The federal agencies are already on board with these ideas:  Is your organization ready to take part?

Once upon a time, LTC facilities could document their ADLs, do their MDS 3.0 documentation and pretty much be done.  But what a difference one year makes:  Now, an LTC facility’s success could be tied to more than those basic ADLs and site-specific resident satisfaction, and much more than the onsite MDS documentation—because hospitals are going to be your real business partners now, in a much greater way than ever before.

Topics: Executive Leadership , Technology & IT