Netsmart leads Black Book list of top IT vendors for long-term and post-acute care

But just 19 percent of LTPAC organizations have some technological capabilities of EHRs operational, report shows. Only 3 percent are using analytics to improve quality and efficiency.
By Mike Miliard
03:35 PM
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Black Book list of top IT vendors

Left out of the meaningful use program, long-term and post-acute care providers are nonetheless making some inroads with regard to IT adoption, according to a new report from Black Book Research, even if care coordination with hospitals continues to be a big challenge.

For study, Black Book polled more than 2,000 LTPAC organizations – including nursing homes, short-term rehabilitation facilities, home health services, skilled nursing sites, sub-acute care facilities, and hospices – and asked how they're doing with EHR adoption, health information exchange, quality reporting, analytics, care coordination patient engagement and more.

[Also: Expert shares tips on pulling LTPAC data into a population health program]

It also spotlighted top performers in the post-acute space, with Netsmart Technologies – developers of EHRs focused on behavioral health – outshining its competitors in ten of 18 satisfaction metrics. Other high-performing vendors included NextGen, PointClickCare, Cerner Caretracker, AOD Software and Matrixcare.

Still, IT implementations at LTPAC sites lag far behind their hospital peers. BlackBook found that just 19 percent have some technical capabilities of EHRs operational as of the fourth quarter of 2017 – up from 15 percent in 2016.

Tellingly, 91 percent of post-acute organizations say they have no budgeted funds for technology acquisitions or improvements in this past calendar year of 2017.

"All healthcare organizations must find better ways to manage the patient transition into post-acute processes and keep hospital readmissions in check, and that may fall completely on hospital systems at risk in 2018," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research, in a statement.

"That answer will require the expansion of technology capabilities to connect physician practices, home health agencies, hospices, outpatient settings, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, DME firms, and hospitals."

About 86 percent of LTPAC facilities say they're not exchanging health information electronically with referring hospitals, physicians, or home health providers.

"The enormous disconnect between the post-acute world and the rest of the continuum is not correcting as hoped," said Brown. "Finding ways to improve communications between disparate acute care EHRs and post-acute technology is a pressing problem for detached providers."

Another dispiriting number: Just 3 percent of inpatient LTPAC providers say they're able to harness data-driven analytics to lower costs and prevent readmissions.

"Most long-term care organizations are still stuck in a volume-based mindset," said Brown.

Despite the fact that, 94 percent of care managers say hospitals send their most complex and at-risk patients to skilled nursing facilities, there are "virtually no communication channels" between SNFs and acute provider, according to Black Book.

"The lack of communication is an extremely expensive problem, especially as hospitals become responsible financially for long-term outcomes and preventable patient readmissions," said Brown.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com