South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday September 17, 2019
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October 2014 - Volume 11 - Issue 4

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Increase in Post-acute Patients Requires Proactive Healthcare Management Approach

The only thing that can be counted on in healthcare is the fact that it’s always changing. From new rules and regulations to changes in insurance payouts, it is imperative that health care managers stay on top of ever-evolving policies to provide the best care for patients while offering efficient, cost-effective services.

Like the rest of the nation, South Florida has seen a lot of changes in the healthcare industry over the last decade. As a result, Greystone Healthcare Management, now in its 13th year, has taken a proactive approach to meeting these challenges and the needs of a shifting patient population.

“We have grown substantially, especially in the area of post-acute healthcare management,” explained Kim Pero, regional director of operations. “We have been working to position our facilities as the post-acute solution for acute care hospitals and health plans. Our goal is to foster the relationships between hospital leadership and our skilled nursing facilities, as well as work with our home healthcare and other post-acute service partners to meet patients’ needs.”

To this end, Greystone has positioned its skilled nursing facilities to be able to care for all types of patients, including both short-term rehabilitation and more medically complex cases. The company’s home healthcare division and recently purchased hospice agency in Ohio are building blocks for the network’s continued growth.

“In order to continue to support our acute care partners, our communities and our patients, we have more than doubled our portfolio since we started,” said Pero.

One of the driving forces behind these changes is the fact that in the long-term care industry, patients are becoming more acute. “We started to see patient acuity go up when diagnosis related groups, or DRGs, came out in 1990s,” Pero explained. “Hospitals began moving these patients to long-term care facilities with shorter lengths of stay, and this trend continues; the number of medically complex post-acute patients in our communities continues to rise.”

As patient trends evolved, Greystone began identifying new positions essential to developing as leaders in post-acute care, including adding ACO (Accountable Care Organization) business development roles and increasing its ratio of licensed registered nurses and advanced practitioners. The company also added two new transitional care coordination (TCC) roles to help patients navigate through the healthcare system and deter avoidable returns to the hospital.

“The TCC’s make sure that patients have an appointment with their primary care physician within 72 hours after discharge from one of our facilities,” said Pero. “They also follow up with a phone call on the day of the patient’s appointment to make sure that there are no transportation difficulties.”

Greystone has also added staff members focused on medication reconciliation and its Walgreen’s at Bedside program. “Patients can opt into this program, which has medications delivered to our facility before discharge so medications are not delayed by an extra trip to the pharmacy,” explained Pero. “They also receive a follow-up call from a Walgreen’s pharmacist within 72 hours to make sure that they’re not having any problems.”

Shared IT platforms between acute settings and Greystone facilities help Greystone’s physicians and nurses better communicate with hospital staff. The company’s physicians also foster relationships with local hospitals’ chief medical officers, hospitalist groups and ER doctors to increase awareness of all that Greystone’s network has to offer as a post-acute care solution.

Greystone Healthcare Management Corp., headquartered in Tampa, FL, manages skilled nursing, assisted living, hospice and home health communities. For more information, visit www.greystonehealth.com.

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