I commend MODERN HEALTHCARE on the April 25 cover story, "Sorting out subacute care" (p. 28). It offered a comprehensive and accurate view of the emerging subacute field.
Possibly the most important message delivered in the article is that subacute care is not for everyone. Recognizing this, the American Health Care Association developed a business guide for those thinking about entering the subacute market. In part, the guide is a self-assessment tool designed to help providers weigh the pros and cons of entering subacute care in today's marketplace.
Subacute care is still in its infancy. But I believe that as well-prepared nursing facilities continue to prove their ability to provide high-quality subacute care, the skeptics will fall by the wayside and subacute care will become a fixture in the continuum of care.
And long-term-care providers will not be the only winners. Shifting subacute care away from the traditional hospital setting holds a great cost savings potential-perhaps as much as $6 billion annually.
New partnerships are on the horizon for hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities-each working with the other to bring efficient and high-quality healthcare to communities. As these relationships develop, patients, hospitals and nursing facilities all stand to benefit by saving precious dollars and strengthening the nation's healthcare system.
PAUL R. WILLGING
Executive vice president
American Health Care Association