A recently released AHA TrendWatch report offers guidance to post-acute care (PAC) providers and their partners as they evaluate new models of care delivery and payment.

“These providers face an increasingly complex regulatory and market environment as health care transforms from a system that rewards volume to one that encourages and rewards value,” notes the report, “The Role of Post-Acute Care in New Care Delivery Models.”

Given the changing health care environment, the report encourages policymakers to learn more about possible pathways to PAC reforms through testing new small-scale payment and delivery models, before considering broader regulatory and legislative changes.

TrendWatchDelivery system reform needs to be “based on tested and proven principles,” the report states. “Many of the models being tested are providing preliminary lessons, but their initial results and relatively brief existence do not yet support expansion.”

The report also calls for alternative payment options for low-volume providers who have less access to capital resources; more effective risk adjustment methodologies for reimbursing hospitals and PAC providers; and more regulatory relief for organizations testing new models of delivering care.

The report highlights case examples from PAC providers and their partners who are engaged in the early stages of delivery system reform. It also examines the outlook for long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies.

An addendum provides background on each of these care settings, including their clinical scopes of services, current payment methodologies and recent regulatory changes.

The tables at right are from the report.