Priority Health, a Grand Rapids, Mich-based health insurance company, is partnering with naviHealth, a post-acute care management company, to improve post-acute care, including rehabilitation, for patients following a hospital visit. The program, which is dedicated to improving communication, efficiency, and quality of care in post-acute care, began earlier this year and allows Priority Health nurses to work with naviHealth personnel to measure a patient’s needs and compare those needs to a database to help choose the proper post-acute care services.

According to a Grand Rapids Business Journal news report, Priority Health and naviHealth work with the insured members and the discharge staff before patients leave the hospital. Amy Miller, a spokesperson at Priority Health, says that the program is designed to make it easier for patients to transition from the hospital setting to a rehabilitation facility. Miller states, “With programs like this, we see better outcomes with patients.”

The Grand Rapids Business Journal news report notes that during the program, the staff helps set clear goals with members and speaks to their families about expectations and possible outcomes. A tool used by naviHealth helps align members with the most efficient, appropriate type of post-acute care service, such as in-home service or a skilled nursing facility. The program, which uses the database tool, will also assist skilled nursing facilities to measure their care and improve performance.

Priority Health members will not face additional charges with the new program. Jay LaBine, MD, chief medical officer at Priority Health, states improving efficiency in the post-acute care services will help avoid certain copay charges, since patients often end up in rehabilitation services longer than they need to be. LaBine asserts, “Right now, when people choose a facility, there is no way of gauging whether they are a top-notch facility, so that is going to help patients better understand their choices.”

LaBine, MD, says there is a real need to reform post-acute care. LaBine states, “We feel like this initiative helps improve the quality and efficiency. It is really important for patients to get a seamless, well-coordinated experience.”

[Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal]