The Acute Care Continuum was featured in the most recent issue of Becker’s Hospital Review. Lindsey Dunn, Editor in Chief of Becker’s Hospital Review, interviewed Wesley Curry, MD, Denise Brown, MD, and Nate Kaufman for an article entitled “The Acute-Care Continuum: The Future of Hopsital-Based Care.”
Dunn provides context to begin the article:
Since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, there has been a swelling of efforts by healthcare providers to manage what is often referred to as the "continuum of care" for patients. Physicians and health systems are engaged in a number of different structures and agreements that aim to essentially achieve the same thing: manage care for patients across all care settings and — perhaps more boldly — from birth to death.
The article takes a look at the lack of coordination inside the hospital, with Kaufman making the point, “To make the continuum work, you need to have ED, radiologists, hospitalists and intensivists all in sync, and in many cases it's just the opposite. They may have different care philosophies, and they may have conflicting business objectives." Kaufman further adds that often the least amount of coordinated care occurs when patients first enter the hospital setting through the ED.
In addition to patient care there are pressing financial implications of acute care coordination. Curry looks toward the future and observes, “If one entity can control all of those physician services, they are essentially responsible for the hospital's metrics.”