WHA Post-Acute Care Work Group Organizes; Focuses on Access

February 03, 2017

Readmission penalties, bundled payment programs and other payment and quality initiatives are making hospitals increasingly responsible for patient outcomes after they are discharged from the hospital. The WHA Board responded to this trend by directing the establishment of a Post-Acute Care Work Group, which held its first meeting January 30 at the WHA offices in Madison. 

The Post-Acute Care (PAC) Work Group will explore how hospitals and health systems can work to improve outcomes for discharged patients and how best to provide or locate post-acute care for patients who need it. 

Members of the work group are:
  • Greg Banaszynski, CEO, UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital (Chair)
  • Andy Anderson, MD, CMO, Aurora Health Care
  • Jennifer Bieno, NHA, Vice President of Aging Services, Divine Savior Healthcare
  • Rick Bourne, President/CEO, Home Health United 
  • Margaret Donnelly, Vice President, Post-Acute Care, Aspirus 
  • Paula Elmer, RN, CNO, Monroe Clinic
  • Deb Head, Rehab Program Manager, Gunderson Health System
  • Doreen Kluth, Executive Director, Care Continuum, HSHS 
  • Charisse Oland, CEO, Rusk County Memorial Hospital 
  • Bonny Range, CNO, Holy Family Memorial
  • Ryan Shear, Vice President, Senior Services, Reedsburg Medical Center
  • Robyn Treder, Manager, Hospital Case Management, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 
  • Lois Van Abel, Director, Care Coordination, Bellin Health 
  • Thomas Zoch, MD, Ascension
At its first meeting, the Work Group identified a number of issues affecting post-acute care, including: serious workforce shortages among health care professionals who are key providers of PAC, including nurses, CNAs, primary care doctors and therapists; job burnout and inadequate pay for front-line PAC providers; the regulatory burden at both the state and federal levels; Medicaid reimbursement rates for PAC that are among the lowest in the country; the need for clear criteria on selecting quality post-acute care providers and how to help patients choose a discharge option that will provide the best outcome; and, the need for clear data on what is effective in providing post-acute care. 

The Work Group will meet within the next few weeks to further focus the issues surrounding post-acute care, with the goal of developing a package of achievable policy initiatives aimed at improving the ability of hospitals and health systems to provide or locate post-acute care for their patients.

This story originally appeared in the February 03, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter