Hospital executives are facing a relatively new challenge: managing the financial risk of bundled or capitated payment after a patient is discharged. Now that post–acute care providers are an extension of a hospital’s care delivery model, their performance has direct implications for the hospital’s reputation and bottom line. Not only must these providers meet threshold cost, quality and patient satisfaction expectations, they must also agree to performance targets and service level standards as well as forge a relationship where transparency, accountability and continuous improvement are the norm.

Managing the financial risk is not easy — until recently, acute and post–acute service providers operated as separate silos. But hospital executives, recognizing the challenge, are seeking new ways to manage these relationships and achieve optimal financial and quality outcomes.

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