On the peak of the COVID-19 emergency, in-patient hospital volumes fell, with expert nursing amenities (SNFs) and residential well being suppliers experiencing comparable downturns. Whereas residence well being suppliers started to see a turnaround in June, the identical can’t be mentioned for SNFs.
That’s in response to a current Avalere Well being examine inspecting discharge locations recorded on in-patient hospital claims for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries.
Washington, D.C.-based Avalere is a well being care consulting agency that makes a speciality of technique, coverage and knowledge evaluation for all times sciences corporations, well being plans and suppliers.
Particularly, Avalere researchers discovered that discharges to residence well being noticed a year-over-year improve in June, with a 4.6% improve in discharge quantity. In the meantime, SNFs noticed a 25.4% lower in year-over-year discharges, which was under pre-pandemic ranges.
By July, there was a 34% lower in sufferers discharged from hospitals and into SNFs. House well being volumes took much less of a success, with solely a 1.8% lower.
“The primary takeaway, from my perspective, is we’re seeing that the hospital discharges to SNFs should not rebounding in the identical manner as hospital discharges to residence well being,” Heather Flynn, a marketing consultant at Avalere Well being, informed House Well being Care Information. “We’re seeing that this might point out some rising use in residence well being relative to SNFs.”
All through the general public well being emergency, many have tried to keep away from institutional settings. Services with numerous residents or sufferers can usually turn into websites of attainable COVID-19 outbreaks.
“The speculation that we’re working from, because of COVID, there could also be warning in using in-patient settings, normally,” Flynn mentioned. “When confronted with the selection of in-patient versus group care, given the pandemic, use of care at residence could also be a choice for some beneficiary.”
Because the COVID-19 emergency continues, some specialists have asserted that the U.S. well being care system will turn into more and more decentralized, with extra providers pushed additional into the house.
Throughout the early days of the general public well being emergency, there have been higher restrictions round visiting SNFs.
Moreover, some residence well being leaders consider that there can be stricter laws and capability caps for SNFs transferring ahead, in flip widening the pool of sufferers that may be shifted into the house.
“I believe within the subsequent 5 years, the SNF business goes to bear a major transformation,” Bruce Greenstein, chief technique and innovation officer at LHC Group, mentioned earlier this month on the 2020 Baird World Healthcare Convention. “The amenities themselves are designed very nicely for effectivity however not an infection management. You’ll be able to see insurance policies that can roll out over the following two years that can assist the SNF business, however cut back their capability.”
Some residence well being suppliers have already began to enter the SNF-at-home market, retooling their operations to deal with extra acute sufferers in any other case served in a SNF.
Whereas the findings from Avalere Well being seemingly bode nicely for residence well being suppliers trying to tackle extra acute sufferers or formally enter the SNF-at-home area, it could be untimely to make use of this knowledge as a measure of future alternatives, in response to Flynn.
“I don’t know that we’re leaping there but,” she mentioned. “I believe, proper now, the tendencies that we’re seeing are the COVID-related impacts.”