According to a road map produced by the LTPAC HIT Collaborative for health information technology (HIT) in long term and post-acute care (LTPAC), there is a growing recognition of LTPAC as an integral part of the overall health care spectrum.
LTPAC providers are starting to participate in many health information exchange (HIE) initiatives, and there are significant calls being made to expand HIT meaningful-use incentives to LTPAC, the group said. In addition, health care reform includes consideration of the needs for person-centered funding for long-term services and supports.
This expanded LTPAC vision encompasses a broad range of providers: home- and community-based services, nursing homes, long term acute care hospitals, rehabilitation and post-acute care facilities, PACE programs, hospice, chronic disease and co-morbidity management, medication therapy management and senior pharmacists, wellness providers, and others, the road map says.
Of course, the LTPAC sector’s increased importance is being fueled by the aging population, along with a growing preference for personal choice and control in long term care decision making, the collaborative says. The emergence of technologies like remote monitoring and telehealth, along with electronic health records (EHRs), is also feeding a consumerism not seen in LTPAC previously.

Group Recommendations

For the near term, the priorities and recommendations of the LTPAC HIT Collaborative are the following:
  • Leverage existing programs and policies by advocating for the inclusion of LTPAC in national and state HIT efforts designed to expand the adoption, use, and exchange of HIT for everyone.
  • Adopt and use health IT and EHRs.
  • Certify LTPAC vendor solutions by establishing and extending EHR certification criteria to LTPAC providers to adopt EHR adoption, coordinate care among health care settings to increase quality of care, and prepare for possible provider incentives.
  • Foster the strongest inclusion and participation of LTPAC providers and vendors in emerging state HIEs and the national health information network.
  • Promote care coordination and continuity of care through the use of HIT during transition-of-care periods and for electronic prescribing.
  • Empower stakeholders, be they consumers, patients, or caregivers, to expect person-centered and person-directed outcomes as they participate in health care systems, processes, and activities.
  • Move HIT in LTPAC from the phase of pilot testing and demonstrations of value to becoming a sustain-able part of operations that continuously result in improved quality care, increased efficiencies, and cost effectiveness.
  • Define and advance an EHR research agenda that includes a focus on LTPAC and contains identified priorities.

A Federal Role

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), a member of the LTPAC Collaboration, said in a position paper that it is only when all health care providers adopt HIT that the true benefits of EHRs will be seen. These benefits include reduced medical errors and savings derived from more seamless care transitions.
AHCA/NCAL is advocating that Congress provide HIT funding to the LTPAC setting comparable to the support that acute and ambulatory care settings receive. 
“Without HIT adoption among all providers, the federal government cannot expect to realize a robust return on its investment in HIT, including reduced administrative costs for claims processing and reimbursement; improved health care quality, efficiency, and care coordination; or enhanced patient safety and advancements in managing chronic conditions,” AHCA/NCAL said.
More information on the collaborative is at