After leaving an acute-care hospital, patients are often unable to return home and manage their own care. They may need to transition through a post-acute care provider such as a nursing home or an in-patient rehabilitation facility. The patient may need a long-term care facility, hospice care, or in-home nursing care in some cases.
In October of 2014, President Obama signed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. The IMPACT Act sought to create a standardized platform to assess post-acute care facilities’ treatment methods and quality standards.
Standardized patient assessment data
The assessment data includes but is not limited to:
- Cognitive function
- Functional status
- Medical condition
- Services required
- Previous functioning level
This standardized data platform allows the patient assessment data to follow them from the hospital to their post-acute care facilities (PAC). As a result, PAC providers can communicate to share the information they need to provide the best transitional care.
IMPACT Act goals
The primary goal of the IMPACT Act is to improve outcomes for Medicare patients. Standardization of assessment data can make PAC facilities more cost-effective, ultimately saving the Medicare system money. It will also benefit patients by helping to determine which PAC environment is most appropriate for their needs.
Payment system reforms
The IMPACT Act favors a single payment site for all of the PAC facilities, which could shift the focus to the patient rather than the providers.
The accumulation and sharing of data make it possible to compare the quality of care between PAC facilities, ultimately providing the best patient outcomes.