Post-acute care providers are urgently challenged to rethink their care delivery models as healthcare shifts to a value- and outcomes-based system, says one prominent industry expert.

“Post-acute care is on the cusp of some of the greatest changes it has seen in decades, and those operating across this growing sector of healthcare have exciting opportunities — and some interesting challenges to consider — as they chart their future,” Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere Health, wrote as a Forbes contributor last week. 

Providers’ urgency for change stems from the expansion of value-based reimbursement, an increase in post-acute care utilization thanks to incentives for acute care providers, the growth of Medicare Advantage and managed Medicaid, and the popularity and high performance of provider-sponsored health plans. 

Amid this shift in approaches post-acute care providers “must rethink care delivery,” Mendelson argued. 

“Post-acute care providers have never played a more essential role, but to thrive in this shifting landscape, post-acute business models must change,” he said. 

In order to adapt, Mendelson called on providers to evaluate their risks, clinical strengths for treating higher acuity patients, experience with value-based care, and health plan offerings. 

“It’s an exciting period of change for post-acute care operators. Strategic thinking and investments today should position post-acute care providers to be valuable partners in care for many years to come,” Mendelson concluded.