I’ve been known to make some bold statements as it relates to interoperable data, such as, if post-acute providers cannot share data bi-directionally in the near future with acute care and physician practice management systems, they will lose most if not all of their referral sources.

Why so bold? Because it’s the truth! Now more than ever, post-acute care providers are expected to be interoperable.  Unfortunately, post-acute care-focused providers, like home health agencies and hospice organizations, continue to lag behind in interoperability.

A little less than two years ago, Brightree joined the Alliance as the first solely post-acute focused software vendor. This endeavor was an investment Brightree made as an advocate for the needs of our customers who don’t traditionally have a large voice in interoperability circles. We worked with the use case and technology-focused committees within the Alliance (who are some of the best and brightest interoperability experts in the healthcare world) to help develop use cases and service models applicable to the post-acute provider.

Today, I am excited to share that Brightree, a leading provider of cloud-based software and services focused on improving clinical and business performance across the post-acute care industry, has taken one more step to helping our customers make this a reality. As you may have seen announced yesterday, CommonWell services are now available to the post-acute market, and Brightree will be one of the first members to deploy these services to our customers.

More than 83,000 users across 2,500+ post-acute care organizations depend on Brightree every day to serve 48,000,000 patients. Think about the difference it will make in the sharing of health data once Brightree’s customers are able to use these services. Improved continuity of care, verification of medical necessity, insight into therapy compliance, improved operational efficiency and easier medication reconciliation are all anticipated benefits of this interoperability that care providers can expect to see materialize over the next few years.

Each year more than 10 million Medicare beneficiaries are discharged from acute care hospitals into a variety of post-acute care settings, including long-term care hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and patients’ homes with services from home health and hospice agencies. More than 66 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions with 14 percent having six or more.1 These patients are some of the most ill, most under-served, and most deserving of attention and improved care from our healthcare delivery system. CommonWell services will make a real and substantial impact for them.

We are excited about this next step in our commitment to nationwide interoperability, and we will proudly stand alongside our fellow CommonWell members to bring these services to our clients.

Dave Cormack, President and CEO, Brightree

[1] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2013). Chronic Conditions among Medicare Beneficiaries: Chartbook: 2012 Edition, Baltimore, MD. 2012.