STACAs America’s healthcare landscape continues to evolve under the Affordable Care Act and in tandem with initiatives like ACOs and changes in reimbursement, short-term acute care hospitals will find that their role is going to grow. This is the assertion of Susan Devore, columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s “Experts” section and president and CEO of Premier, Inc., a healthcare performance improvement alliance. According to Devore, hospitals can expect to take on a significant role in coordinating episodes of care as part of interconnected networks thanks to:

• Market trends like changes in provider payments. The Medicare Shared Savings Program as well as the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement program are growing and incorporating more and more participants with time, which signals an increase in the number of Americans being cared for in a clinically integrated network
• The new Medicare physician payment formula, which ties pay closely to value and quality metrics instead of a fee-for-service model
• Financial attractiveness of providing care in a clinically integrated provider network

As hospitals expand their services and begin to act like “hubs” that manage patients’ health from beginning to end, partnering with the right post-acute healthcare organization for services like rehabilitation and home health will be critical for success. Aligning with reputable post-acute providers will help these hubs increase positive patient outcomes and avoid penalties associated with preventable readmissions.

Read Susan Devore’s full column about hospitals’ roles: What Future Hospitals Will Look Like