In our previous blog, we discussed the main aspects of LTPAC operations that were not likely to change in the event of a new or modified Republican healthcare plan: namely quality of care and privacy laws at a state and federal level. Another aspect that is not likely to change is that of the current LTPAC technology standards.
Due to the overarching goal of LTPAC facilities, healthcare providers, and patient advocates to keep standards as high as possible to ensure quality care, technology will continue to play a crucial role in LTPAC daily and ongoing operations.
Transitions: Risky Business
Many proposed improvements to the technology standards are going to affect the transitions of care process, one of the riskiest times for patients as they transfer between facilities and/or healthcare providers.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology points out that as EHR adoption and interoperability requirements continue to advance in the acute care and ambulatory care sector, it will be increasingly important for LTPAC providers to adopt EHRs that have the capability of exchanging standardized clinical data with care partners. While each facility, hospital, or physician’s office may be in compliance with all IT standards, many currently exist as their own virtual island and do not readily allow access to patient files by outsiders. Many also might lack a standard protocol for transmitting information from one facility to another in a timely manner.
New technology standards will likely standardize the way patient records are created, presented, stored, and transferred, thus ensuring uniformity and removing confusion between facilities as well as successfully send care summaries during transitions of care to all members of the care team.
Increased Efficiency, Steady Profits
One of the other elements of American healthcare that will not likely change is Medicare coverage for the elderly. As more and more Americans begin to enter the age in which they are eligible for Medicare coverage, LTPAC facilities may be forced to accept lower reimbursements than with private insurance companies. However, they will still have the obligations to their stakeholders to achieve and demonstrate as high of quality outcomes as before and to maximize their financial performance.
For this reason, it will be crucial that they utilize a software platform that is not just interoperable within their healthcare network, but with others as well. Additionally, this software must be able to successfully integrate with their revenue cycle and financial management platform or offer one of their own, thus allowing financial managers to monitor performance as close to real-time as possible.
Regardless of which political party holds the most sway, technology will continue to advance and it is essential that your LTPAC facility has a competitive edge. For more information about technology requirements for LTPAC facilities, please contact a LINTECH representative.