A new partnership aims to give skilled nursing facilities a leg up in preventing readmissions by facilitating the transmission of patient data in as close to real time as possible.
If successful, it could boost resident quality of life — and help SNFs win back some of the 2% of Medicare reimbursements that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start withholding on Oct. 1.
Consonus Healthcare, the therapy arm of assisted living and post-acute provider Marquis Companies, announced a partnership on Feb. 27 with Collective Medical Technologies to bring the latter’s PreManage care collaboration platform to more than 300 Consonus skilled nursing facilities. Marquis is based in Milwaukie, Oregon and owns and operates 24 post-acute and assisted living facilities, 17 of which are SNFs.
“The communication from a skilled nursing facility back to a hospital was lackluster, it had a lot of pitfalls,” Anthony Laflen, director of data analytics at Consonus, said while describing his decision to reach out to Collective Medical for the partnership. “We were literally taking a chart, printing it out and putting it on a patient’s chest as they were being rolled out.”
Consonus provides rehabilitation, pharmacy, and consulting services to SNFs, doing business with more than 500 across all three divisions.
As a result of the partnership with Collective Medical, SNFs doing business with Consonus will have access to the PreManage platform; SNFs using PreManage will receive notifications on patients, giving insights into their readmission risk, specific care plans, advance directives, and utilization patterns, according to a company statement announcing the deal.
Under the partnership, the pathway of the data generally flows as follows, according to Laflen: Patient care data is entered into an electronic health record (EHR) and is transferred to a cloud-based service to which the facility is subscribed. Consonus pulls the data from there into its own analytics and feeds that directly into Collective Medical’s system.
The raw data is fed to Collective Medical’s engine every hour on the hour, Laflen said, so if a physician looks at the data 15 minutes after the hour, it’s 15 minutes old; if 45 minutes after the hour, it’s 45 minutes old. The goal is to eventually cut the time lag down to 10 to 15 minutes.
The cost of development, given the live interfaces with multiple EHRs and the need to encrypt the data and meet security standards, is over $1 million, Laflen said. Though the goals of the partnership are open, he has a target of his own.
“My personal goal for my team, and what I would like to see out of this, is a 20-25% reduction in readmissions for skilled facilities,” he said.
Reducing readmissions is high on many providers’ priority lists going into the upcoming fiscal year; under that new CMS program, operators can win back the reduced reimbursements by meeting multiple quality-measure benchmarks, which include hospital readmissions.
Written by Maggie Flynn