Two of the country’s largest post-acute care providers are joining forces in a unique effort to improve quality and care transitions.

The “groundbreaking” clinical partnership between Kindred Healthcare Inc. and Genesis HealthCare, announced on Tuesday, was spurred by the changing healthcare landscape, according to Genesis CEO George Hager Jr.

“Under the new world of value-based purchasing, providers across the continuum need to collaborate to identify ways to provide the best care possible,” Hager said in a statement. “Our relationship marks the first time the two largest providers of post-acute care are working together to pave the future for patients, payers and the healthcare system.”

Kindred and Genesis will leverage their respective rehabilitation and skilled nursing strengths to “align patient care across the continuum,” but their relationships with other providers will not be limited by the partnership, the companies said.

The new initiative includes data tracking on discharges, readmissions, lengths of stay and other episodic information in order to create new quality standards and protocols for post-acute care.

Other goals to be tackled by the new partnership include:

  • Promoting physician collaboration to boost patient care across the continuum
  • Supporting new post-acute care networks
  • Finding ways to improve care for specific patient populations
  • Better understanding population health
  • Developing guidelines and tools for care transitions and post-acute discharge

Kindred and Genesis will share best practices and aim to improve care transitions in local markets “across all post-acute settings in order to meet patients where and when they need care,” said Benjamin Breier, president and CEO of Kindred. “Our future will be driven by collaborative efforts to deliver coordinated post-acute care with other providers, enabled by technology and data-driven care management capabilities.”

Kindred announced its exit from the skilled nursing business in November, citing “dynamic changes” to the healthcare industry.