Healthcare providers know that one of the principal challenges facing our society is caring for the vast number of aging Americans requiring healthcare. More than 10,000 people a day reach Medicare age, some of whom will develop multiple chronic conditions and account for a large share of Medicare spending. The strain will financially overwhelm an unchanged healthcare delivery system.
In response, many healthcare providers are re-engineering their pathways of care to promote alternatives to repeated hospitalizations. These alternatives—filling in what some have called the fragmented “chasm of care” in post-acute settings—include greater use of palliative-care specialists, geriatric nurse practitioners, expanded roles for pharmacists and social workers and patient navigators in patient- and family-centered home-based and community programs.
In short, “post-acute care” has become an anachronism. In the future, a greater portion of the heavy-lifting of healthcare will be performed in many nonhospital settings, post-acute and beyond. Because of that shift, we call it community-based care.