CASE STUDY: Acadiana Management Group (AMG)
AMG’s path to becoming a leading LTACH provider
AMG was founded in 1999 as a provider of outpatient pain therapy and outpatient surgery. Before long, the organization recognized the tremendous need for inpatient post-acute care, and in 2005 opened its first two inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. The system has now grown to 16 post-acute care hospital locations, comprised of 14 long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and two in-patient rehab facilities (IRFs), making AMG one of the country’s top five largest post-acute hospital systems. AMG’s principal officers have over 50 years of experience developing and managing the operations of multiple inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation hospitals, LTACHs, general acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, walk-in clinics, diagnostic testing facilities and hospices. As an organization serving the seriously ill, as well as those with traumatic injuries, AMG’s care delivery has benefited from the clinical expertise of several physician investors.
In the space of less than 12 years, AMG has expanded from two facilities to 16. This tremendous growth brought opportunities to add employees and build patient census, but it also increased the complexity of AMG’s business operations, including those related to coding and billing. At the same time, directives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services have become increasingly complex, requiring LTACH facilities to follow stringent rules and seek opportunities to do more with less. New transparency tools such as LTCH Compare are putting added pressure on post-acute care facilities, requiring them to increase their focus on value-based care.
AMG’s top concern is to deliver the best care at an affordable price, and to be reimbursed properly for this care. The company is also focused on positioning itself as a partner of choice for health systems and ACOs who are looking for new solutions to improve care transitions for newly discharged patients.
The right partner matters
In 2009, AMG found itself at a crossroads. It added a group of four post-acute hospitals, all of which were partners with HCS for health IT. After a short period of time trying to work with two different vendors, AMG decided that HCS was the better fit, thanks to the flexibility of its products, the wide array of solutions and their superior customer service. AMG made the difficult decision to abandon its legacy IT provider and switch all of its facilities to HCS.
Transitions can be difficult, especially when clinicians must master new workflows. But, AMG found a true partner in HCS, and the two organizations worked side by side to ensure a smooth transition. Today AMG is fully standardized on the HCS Interactant platform across all its locations for patient accounting, billing and revenue cycle management functions.
The HCS differentiators:
- HCS worked closely with AMG as its reporting needs evolved. HCS helped AMG create new, automated reports that have enhanced its ability to manage the growing organization.
- As AMG acquires new facilities, HCS staff is always ready and able to provide expert assistance during the transitions.
- HCS has delivered customized solutions to address AMG’s unique operational needs, allowing the organization to maximize its operational and management efficiencies.
- HCS continuously demonstrates its in-depth knowledge of the LTACH market and stays ahead of regulatory changes impacting the industry.
It’s never been more important to select a health IT partner with specific expertise in the LTACH market. When the Long Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System final rule was released, HCS understood it was critical to begin implementing system changes to help LTACHs capture pre-admission stage information in the assessment process. Using the HCS Mobile module, liaisons in the field can capture and complete pre-admission assessment information. The details are then available to key decision makers at the corporate headquarters in real-time.
The pre-assessment information allows leaders to identify the patients that best fit AMG’s preferred patient mix and help the organization achieve its profitability goals. For instance, the pre-assessment process tracks such things as the number of days a patient is on a ventilator and the number of days spent in ICU. Armed with these details, AMG can take measures to ensure the right patient mix is admitted. Because HCS incorporated the pre-assessment functionality into the system soon after the release of the final rule, by the time the regulations went into effect AMG was already taking full advantage of the capabilities.
Unlike many LTACHs that struggled during the transition period, AMG recognized an increase in profitability. AMG began utilizing the advanced modeling tools before the official start of the program, giving the organization the ability to assess its likely profitability based on prospective patient mix. While other facilities were trying to adjust to the new rule and figure out how to reshape their patient mix for maximum profit, AMG was reaping the benefits of their new processes. Unlike many LTACHs who were blindsided by the loss of reimbursements, AMG, with help from HCS, had already made the proper adjustments and was enjoying a boost in profitability.
AMG is a privately owned provider of post-acute health care services. Through 15 long-term acute care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, AMG provides a continued acute level of care for patients suffering complex medical conditions. AMG’s inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide intensive physical rehabilitation to patients recovering from injury, illness, or surgery. AMG is dedicated to providing patients the most appropriate medical care and support to help them return to health.
HCS provides an integrated clinical and financial IT platform to LTACH, senior living, and behavioral health facilities. Since 1969 the HCS Interactant® platform has been delivering enterprise-wide and easy-to-adopt solutions for revenue cycle management, financial reporting, electronic medical records, mobile technology, and business intelligence.