Today’s Post-Acute Care System is still very siloed in its current state. As noted in this toolkit, each setting has different patient eligibility, facilities regulations, reporting requirements (quality, functional, patient), and payment for both physicians and facilities. In order to provide true value-based care, physiatrists need to be aware of a patient’s medical and functional status, as well as where these needs can be most appropriately met.
All of these considerations need to be taken into account when deciding post-acute care placement in order to pursue the best patient outcome in the most appropriate cost setting. This will not only benefit the patient directly, but the entire health care system. Without the knowledge of all these factors, it is difficult for physiatrists to truly advocate for patients and place them in the right care setting. It is critical to note that some or all these factors may be changing soon. Many physicians rely on their professional organizations to keep them updated on how changes will impact their patients as well as their own individual practices. It is by being up to date that physicians being not only demonstrate value to patients but to their healthcare systems as well.
Over the coming months, more detailed information on PAC eligibility, regulations, payment, and quality measures will be put out by AAPM&R. Check back regularly at www.aapmr.org to view updates in regulations affecting you or brush up on an issue when you need to be best prepared to discuss patient placement in PAC settings.