GERIATRIC SERVICES

Advis’ Geriatric Services Team partners with providers to drive Medicare market share.

The graying of America presents powerful opportunities for healthcare providers to build Medicare market share while better serving their communities and enhancing the bottom line. When properly planned, geriatric service lines offer exciting opportunities for those willing to innovate in order to maximize Medicare market share and achieve a desirable payor mix.

Now that Medicare and its future are being both protected and assaulted, healthcare organizations have enhanced reasons to strive to realize the full potential of the federal program to create a more stable and predictable marketplace. Such a market would be of benefit to patients and providers alike. The idea to launch or expand geriatric programs is not new. In fact, healthcare providers have been reacting to increasing volumes of elderly patients for years by launching or expanding their existing geriatric programs. But many of these programs have been net drains on the bottom line because of low reimbursement rates and an adverse selection of frail elderly. That’s where attention must be focused.

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Comprised of experienced healthcare practitioners, reimbursement and financial experts, hospital leaders and attorneys, Advis has formed its Geriatric Services Team to partner with providers to develop new or to modify existing integrative geriatric service lines. This Advis team, with years of experience working with geriatric service lines, offers solutions that align with value-based payment models. The team’s focus is on all aspects of the care continuum, including pre- and post-acute care. Advis formed its Geriatric Services Team in response to the need for quality service lines that cater to the growing elderly population as well as healthcare providers’ ever-present need to find new and growing sources of revenue.

Advis works with healthcare providers who already have geriatric service lines as well as those interested in launching them. The guiding principles are the same for both: Develop quality and sustainable programs that produce meaningful revenue for the healthcare provider. As the needs of the elderly population increase, the possibilities for how healthcare organizations may choose to address them are endless and range from Geriatric Immediate Care Centers to Multi-Disciplinary outpatient “one-stop-shop” facilities to specialized inpatient units. A hospital’s survival and growth strategy is enhanced by planning its larger organizational strategy with post-acute care in mind. Given the full spectrum of possibilities, hospitals should consider defining their strategies sooner—whether, shoring up current post-acute relationships, establishing new formal relationships, or acquiring a post-acute provider, as opposed to later as revenues continue to flat line or decline.

The next alignment wave is starting now. Acute-care hospitals and health systems cannot afford to miss this opportunity. Post-acute geriatric services have the potential to positively impact the margins of acute-care hospitals and are especially attractive vehicles for those looking for diversification strategies. Recent statistics show that more than 45 percent of Medicare acute patients were discharged to a post-acute setting. This number represents a statistically meaningful percentage of a hospital’s population. It requires that more services and health care facilities have a robust set of pre- and post-acute care service lines to maintain their existing relationship with the patient.