February 2, 2017

ACO roundup: The importance of PCPs in end-of-life care

Daily Briefing
  • How St. Luke's cut readmissions in half for SNF patients. Spurred by the adoption of a bundled payment program, St. Luke's University Health Network used data analysis to radically improve its post-acute care services over a two-year period—cutting patients' average length of stay and readmission rates in half. St. Luke's collected performance data from skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to spur competition; developed new care-transition protocols and embedded its own physicians into the SNFs to train them on the protocols; and started following high-risk patients through discharge.

  • Aetna partners with Princeton Healthcare on integrated network. Aetna has teamed up with Princeton Healthcare Partners to develop an integrated network of 125 physicians serving three counties in New Jersey. The three-year care delivery model will track metrics, use technology, and analyze data to provide care management. Aetna policyholders who have seen a Princeton Healthcare provider in the past year will automatically be part of the network.

  • PCP involvement in end-of-life care lowers costs. Areas of the United States with greater primary care physician (PCP) involvement in the last six months of life tend to have lower-cost end-of-life care, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. The study defined "primary care involvement" as the ratio of PCP to specialist visits. According to the new study, there was about $4,000 less in Medicare spending in regions where with more PCP involvement. The researchers said the lower spending stemmed from fewer days in intensive care units, among other factors.

From Advisory Board:

  • Advance your care transitions process beyond readmissions. Join us for a webconference on Thursday, Feb. 16, to learn how your organization can expand beyond transition management to tackle additional avoidable costs savings opportunities. You'll learn how to prioritize support for transitions based on patient acuity, prevent gaps or duplication in services, and deploy home visit support to bridge the hospital-primary care transition.

Register now

Register now

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