For 20 months, hospitals have grappled with COVID-19 patient surges. And we now feel additional pressures due to the unprecedented workforce shortages and financial strains.
Last week, during an appearance at the Health Facilities Association of Maryland’s annual conference, I reflected on another persistent challenge—transitioning people out of hospitals and into post-acute care (PAC) facilities to make space for acute patients.
Hospital-PAC facility relationships have been tested during the pandemic. There are no easy answers. With such a highly infectious airborne pathogen, scant knowledge of how it was transmitted, the impact of asymptomatic carriers, and limited resources, PAC facilities could not function as usual.
We leveraged the success of bridge teams and the strength of Maryland hospitals’ connections with PAC communities to distribute patients as best as possible under the circumstances. We avoided the kind of disastrous situation other states experienced when they tried to force nursing facilities to take patients.
Partnering with PAC providers is a key to hospitals’ success, especially under our Total Cost of Care Model. MHA—through our post-acute collaborative—supports your efforts to strengthen the ties between hospitals and post-acute partners and to better enable the same partners to care for shared patients.
We now need to go even further, to explore opportunities for shared accountability for cost and outcomes beyond the hospital setting.
President & CEO