Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) Needs Related to EHR Adoption
Liz Palena Hall | May 3, 2012
As the population of the United States ages, the number of people receiving services in Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) facilities is expected to grow rapidly. LTPAC is characterized by a variety of settings, from complex care in long-term acute-care hospitals to supportive services in the community or home-based care. Compared to the general population, LTPAC patients typically have a wide range of conditions and more complex, longitudinal care needs. Frequent transitions between acute, post-acute, and longer-term care settings are common. By some accounts, it has been estimated that “over a third of all Medicare patients discharged from acute hospitals receive LTPAC services (almost 80 percent are either discharged to skilled nursing facilities or sent home with home health services).” 1 Further, “[a] significant portion—almost one-quarter of Medicare beneficiaries—discharged to a skilled nursing facility were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.” 2
LTPAC Providers and the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs
With the advent of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, electronic health record adoption by eligible providers has increased. These important care partners can use health information technology (health IT) to share patient information and coordinate care with LTPAC providers under the EHR Incentive Programs to promote improvements in outcomes.
This highlights the importance of care coordination and the need for systems to support information capture, use, and exchange of relevant, timely care data.
Thus, in order to better understand the health IT needs of LTPAC providers for care delivery and to support transitions of care, ONC’s Office of Policy and Planning will be convening a roundtable of LTPAC experts to engage in a discussion on these issues.
Upcoming LTPAC Roundtable
The LTPAC Roundtable will take place on May 3, 2012 and will include public- and private-sector representatives from LTPAC providers, professional associations, system vendors, consumer advocates, and representatives from related federal healthcare agencies and committees.
The objectives of the roundtable are to:
- Understand the information needs of LTPAC providers, and how these needs could be supported through EHR adoption and health information exchange
- Identify priority EHR functions that LTPAC providers should consider when investing in EHRs that would enable the exchange of health information
Following the Roundtable, a summary report of findings will be published and posted on HealthIT.gov. We look forward to hearing about your comments on this important effort!
- Harvell, J., Dougherty, M. “Opportunities for Engaging Long Term and Post Acute Care Providers in Health Information Exchange Activities: Exchanging Interoperable Patient Assessment Information” http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/2011/StratEng.pdf at page 12 citing: Mor, V., Intrator, O., Feng, Z., Grabowski, D.C. “The Revolving Door of Rehospitalization from Skilled Nursing Facilities.” Health Affairs, 2010, 29(1): 57-64.
- Harvell, J., Dougherty, M. “Opportunities for Engaging Long Term and Post Acute Care Providers in Health Information Exchange Activities: Exchanging Interoperable Patient Assessment Information” http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/2011/StratEng.pdf at page 13 citing: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). A Data Book: Healthcare Spending and the Medicare Program. Washington, DC: MedPAC, 2006a. http://www.medpac.gov.