Five Ways to Integrate Better Care Management and Cost Containment Supporting Post-Acute Care Needs

by Mary Kay Thalken, RN, MBA on Sep 4, 2019

Aging Population Needing CareThe U.S. Census Bureau projects the 2030s to be a transformative decade for the U.S. population. By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This will expand the size of the older population so that 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age. By 2060, the U.S. is projected to grow by 79 million people, from about 326 million today to 404 million.

This 2030 demographic population milestone combined with the desire of older Americans to live independently makes it critical that acute and post-acute care organizations proactively develop strategies, tools and solutions to enable them to live healthy, self-sufficient lives for as long as possible.

One outcome of older generations living longer is the associated likelihood these same individuals placing added stress on an already strained healthcare system (a study warns the number of seniors with four or more chronic diseases is expected to double by 2035). The costs of caring for these individuals will be high, and hospitals, integrated health systems and medical groups expanding their scope of practice into the post-acute care space can expect to assume financial risk for healthcare utilization eventually, if not imminently.

These provider organizations need a roadmap to reduce avoidable costs while supporting the unique care management needs of an increasingly aging population.

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Healthcare IT Today

Meet the Author

Thalken brings more than 30 years of experience in health-care leadership to our company. Prior to joining the company, she served as Enterprise Vice President for Care Logistics in Atlanta, Ga. She has held executive leadership positions at hospitals in Nebraska and Iowa, including the position of System Quality Executive for Alegent Health. Thalken has presented on the topics of improving quality, patient flow and throughput at various industry conferences and webinars. Thalken holds an MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Organization of Nurse Executives and American Case Management Association.


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