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NaviHealth launches new D.C.-based policy research center


By Steven Ross Johnson
Posted: June 17, 2014 - 1:30 pm ET
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Tennessee-based post-acute-care manager naviHealth announced Monday the launch of a new research center focused on policy issues and providing a forum for best practices within the field.

“I think if you look at where the post-acute-care industry is evolving, both from a clinical standpoint and from a policy standpoint, from a payment reform angle, I think you're going to see a convergence of change over the next several years,” said Clay Richards, naviHealth CEO.

Based in Washington, Richards said the Post-Acute Care Center for Research will look to exchange ideas with an array of industry stakeholders for the purpose of serving as an information repository on post-acute-care issues.

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Research conducted at the center will focus on such current industry challenges as those involving new payment and delivery models, as well as strategies that reduce post-acute-care spending, estimated to total $110 billion annually.

Serving as the center's director for scientific research and evaluation will be Barbara Gage, a fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institution who has directed the CMS' work in payment policy and quality measurement during the past 20 years. Her work with the CMS includes leading such initiatives as the development of analytic files for the agency's Bundled Payment of Care Improvement program, as well as CMS' Post-Acute Care Payment Reform Demonstration.

“We'll be doing active research as well as holding a forum where stakeholders discuss the leading issues,” Gage said. “A lot of questions have been coming up about post-acute populations, and it's easy to crank out basic information that people are looking for, so we'll be doing a lot of that as well as some more refined analyses.”

The need for metrics and best practices will prove crucial as the federal government looks to shift reimbursement models for post-acute-care providers away from one that incentivizes fees for services to one based on performance outcomes.

Medicare post-acute-care spending growth for post-acute care rose by 6.6% a year between 2005 and 2010, according to a 2012 report by the National Health Policy Forum. In 2012, fee-for-service Medicare spending on skilled nursing, rehabilitation facilities, long-term-care hospitals and home care totaled $62 billion.

Follow Steven Ross Johnson on Twitter: @MHsjohnson


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