To gain a greater understanding of current and future trends within the post-acute space, Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)1 and Kindred partnered on a survey of nearly 200 hospital leaders. The survey explored key opportunities around post-acute services, including healthcare staffing, financial performance and strategic partnership opportunities.

Key findings and areas of opportunity include:

  • Hospital leaders report the top trends they expect to see in 2023 include continued staffing challenges and a growing focus on financial stability, with a rise in behavioral health patients and patients with multiple comorbidities close behind.

  • Similar to the top trends, survey respondents note that their top three strategic priorities heading into 2023 center on (1) staffing challenges, (2) financial stability and (3) strategic partnership to enhance their operations and clinical offerings.
    • Strategic partnership, such as contract management or joint-venture, has seen a rapid increase within the post-acute space. Partnership can help produce optimal patient and hospital outcomes, as well as promote financial health across the continuum.

  • Behavioral health was among the top trends for 2023 due to the critical and growing need. Despite the trend, behavioral health is often outside of an acute hospital’s core offering. To meet this growing need, partnership is also a trending solution for hospitals to expand behavioral health services to their care continuum while maintaining their current priorities.
    • 90% of survey respondents report already experiencing a rise in patients with behavioral health conditions.

  • A majority of the surveyed health leaders anticipate a continued increase in patient volume due to ongoing care delays resulting from COVID-19 and the rise in medically complex patients.
    • With this expected rise, many don’t feel adequately prepared to meet the ongoing needs of this patient population.

  • Many state that the increase in patient volume is now requiring additional expertise from multiple service lines. One way hospitals are achieving this is through the co-location model.
    • Co-location enables hospitals to offer multiple services on one hospital campus and expand specialized services to those who need it most.

  • More than 55% of respondents state they either already co-locate or have considered it. This presents numerous opportunities for those hospitals who have yet to consider the benefits of co-location.

  • More than half of the survey respondents note that expanding service lines such as outpatient and behavioral health would help generate positive patient outcomes.
    • As a result, 65% report partnership with a focused expert was the best way to achieve these expansion opportunities and meet the growing need in their local community.

  • 53% of health leaders report the ability to increase patient access is among the top reasons they are considering market expansion. However, raising needed capital and providing high quality care were tied for a top concern.

Final Takeaways

Rising patient volumes and medical complexities is leading hospitals to find new opportunities to combat growing staffing challenges, improve care quality, gain greater financial stability, and ultimately meet the growing patient need in their local community.

Market expansion of post-acute offerings, such as behavioral health, and strategic partnership with specialized providers are two key trends helping to alleviate the burden of running post-acute programs while helping to meet the hospital’s strategic priorities.

Contact us to learn how we can help your hospital meet these ever-growing opportunities within the post-acute space.

Click here to view HFMA’s full survey results.


References:

  1. HFMA, (September 2022), Service line trends survey Summary Report, [PowerPoint Slides], Healthcare Financial Management Association
By Kindred