Nashville, TN – On Wednesday December 18, 2013, Alana HealthCare and Summit View of Farragut opened a new transitional care unit (TCU) that will safely and effectively transition chronic respiratory patients out of hospitals and into their communities.
Nashville-based Alana HealthCare launched its home-based respiratory health management program, Comprehensive Respiratory Outcome Management (CROM™), in early 2012. Designed to reduce the largest cost drivers in health care — hospital admissions and readmissions—CROM™ has cut each by as much as 45% and 41%, respectively. The program has taken hold across Tennessee and surrounding states as one of the few interventions available for patients living with chronic respiratory failure proven to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and readmissions, and resulting in tremendous cost savings for patients and the health care system.
Summit View of Farragut is a family-owned skilled nursing facility (SNF) that has been caring for patients in the Knoxville area for nearly three decades. “Independently owned SNFs are uniquely suited to play a key role in today’s health care landscape,” says Summit View Administrator, Richard Lawrence. According to Mr. Lawrence “programs like these are proving necessary for hospitals now, and will prove essential for SNFs before long.” While hospitals are already being penalized for patient readmissions, SNFs aren’t. However, that is expected to change. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2014 budget proposal recommends reducing payments by up to 3% for SNFs that are determined to have high rates of preventable hospital readmissions. The proposed penalties would take effect in 2017, with an estimated $2.2 billion in savings over 10 years. Additionally, from 2010 to 2012, SNF median net income has declined by nearly half to less than 1 percent. As SNFs are forced to respond to regulatory and financial pressures, Alana’s CROM™ Transitional Care Units will continue to prove both necessary and effective.
Many of the patients eligible for care in the new transitional care unit at Summit View are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other forms of chronic respiratory failure. The American Lung Association estimates that nearly 450,000 Tennesseans have been diagnosed with COPD. However, nearly half of all COPD cases go undetected, making this a highly conservative estimate. The Knoxville area is home to the 3rd highest rate for COPD in the state. According to the American Lung Association, nearly 50,000 people are living with COPD in Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union counties.
The CROM™ Transitional Care Unit at Summit View will pair the skilled nursing facility’s existing clinical expertise in rehabilitation with in-house CROM™ respiratory therapists to create a stable and comfortable environment for patients living with COPD, neuromuscular disorders and other forms of chronic respiratory failure. Alana’s respiratory therapists will educate patients about their disease and how to best manage it, equip them with the most appropriate and effective therapies available, and offer complex case management services that eventually transition patients safely into their homes. According to Zach Gantt, RRT, Alana HealthCare’s Chief Clinical Officer, “this partnership is about helping respiratory patients that are non longer in need of hospital care, but are not yet able to care for themselves. Our partnership with Summit View allows us to work alongside their great clinicians to help a larger number of patients under one roof.”
The CROM™ program has partnered with physicians, hospitals and payers to deliver care for more than 1000 home-patients to date. Respiratory patients can have tracheostomies, require ventilation, and face a host of other complex challenges. The key to their success is through partnerships whereby hospital case managers can ensure the patient will be properly cared for upon discharge, skilled nursing facilities provide a safe environment conducive to education and rehabilitation, and, highly experienced respiratory therapists can build strong relationships with the patient and their family to build the needed skills and understanding for self-management.
For more information, contact Dov Hirsch, Vice President of Engagement.
Phone: 615-375-1094, Ext. 362