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When IT and reimbursement intersect: The renewed focus on care transition technologies

Posted on 9/26/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO Review

Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry was, "more or less, smooth sailing," said Matt Tanzer, chair of the National Transitions of Care Coalition's Healthcare IT Innovations Task Force, in a recent webinar.

"Revenue was increasing, employment was growing," he continued. "There was little financial justification for serious investments in transitional care quality. Readmission was a poor patient outcome, but not a poor financial outcome."

Now, the transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value is causing healthcare providers to refocus on preventing readmission. While it has certainly been a period of adjustment and transition, Mr. Tanzer said improving the transition of care process can help providers decrease readmissions and improve their competitive advantages.

"Transition of care is a matter of life and death for patients," Mr. Tanzer said. "It's also a matter of life and death for provider systems."

As such, software IT companies are developing provider solutions to enhance, assist and optimize care transitions to ensure patients stay home after being discharged from the hospital.

During the webinar, five executives of health IT companies that developed software to address care transitions shared their products and suggestions on how to improve quality transitions while reducing readmissions. While their products addressed different elements of a care transition, they all also had one resounding theme: It takes a community to ensure proper, adequate care.

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