Impact Focus Area
By focusing on decreasing the unnecessary utilization of health care services, we’re improving patient outcomes and driving down the total cost of care. In the past year, we’ve made great strides in lowering readmissions and ensuring patients receive quality, appropriate post-acute care.
Continue scrolling to learn more.
Focusing on Utilization
VHAN’s focus on utilization includes two key areas: ED utilization and readmissions, and post-acute care. Use the buttons or continue scrolling to find more information on each topic below.
Focus Area: Utilization
ED Utilization and Readmissions
Why It Matters
Too often, emergency departments serve as a safety net or alternative when physicians are unavailable to patients, including those who are insured and uninsured. These non-emergency visits typically result in lower quality, more expensive and wasteful care. And EDs typically can’t offer preventive and education services that can reduce the need for care in the future. VHAN members are committed to developing new strategies and processes to reduce ED overutilization and improve care transitions to lower readmissions. Plus, our VHAN ER Toolkit, written for VHAN medical practice members, offers resources to help patients avoid ED use.
The Goal of ED Utilization and Readmissions
Helping practices increase access for patients while offering options for emergent care needs.
FOCUS AREA: UTILIZATION
Why It Matters
Post-acute care is a growing and essential health and social service, accounting for more than $2.7 trillion spent on personal health care, according to the American Hospital Association. Ensuring appropriate utilization of post-acute services such as home health, long-term care, skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation can lead to improved quality and an overall reduction in the total cost of care.
See a few Post-Acute Care successes below.
New SNF Affiliates
Added new SNFs as ACO and VHAN affiliates to support shared quality and utilization goals
Approved for Medicare
Received approval for a Medicare 3-day SNF for Connected Care of Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee
Increased access to skilled nursing facility EMR and HIPAA-compliant messaging portals
New Care Program
Standardized our approach for outreach to patients and SNF staff throughout the Transitions of Care program
Participated in collaborative discharge planning with inpatient rehab facility and SNF partners
Facilitated referrals, SNF waivers and other post-acute care needs for patients at home or receiving PAC services
Post-Acute Key Initiative
Acute Care Outreach Team
In May 2022, VHAN established a new acute care outreach team for Connected Care of Middle Tennessee Medicare ACO patients. The outreach team helps increase communication between acute care teams and ambulatory care providers and care management teams. The focus is on readmission reduction and leveraging post-acute care services to help meet patient goals.
The Goal of Post-Acute Care
Ensuring appropriate utilization of post-acute services can lead to improved quality and an overall reduction in the total cost of care.
Social Work Team
Patients in need of care often face social and emotional barriers to health improvement. And sometimes these barriers don’t come up during doctor visits. VHAN’s Social Work Team partners with patients, families and care teams to identify all the factors that come into play when patients are making decisions. The goal is for patients to feel seen, heard and safe to bring up their concerns.
VHAN Member Resources
Related to Stories of Utilization
VHAN Hub is available exclusively to network members. You must be a VHAN member and register for the Hub to gain access.
Members can view on VHAN Hub
VHAN Social Work
Members can learn more on VHAN Hub Social Work page.
Become a VHAN Member
Interested in becoming a VHAN Member and joining a collaborative group of physicians, nurses and allied professionals who are transforming health care? Get started on the contact page.
Ready for More Impact?
Learn about additional Focus Areas or return to vhan.com/impact.