Fast-evolving convergence in healthcare was the common theme of recent Netsmart public policy advocacy meetings with key national home care and long-term care (senior living) associations in Washington. Netsmart Executive Vice President Kevin Scalia, Industry Relations Strategist Dave Kishler and Post-acute Strategy and Solutions Team Members Teresa Craig, Jeremy Mercer and Robert Love met with five key associations representing post-acute providers: the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), LeadingAge, ElevatingHOME and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL).

“Much discussion centered on the commonalities and synergies shared across our human services and post-acute care client communities,” said Scalia. “Care coordination, care management and the ability to share authorized health data across care settings are all key to providing ‘whole person’ care to  improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs.”

Discussion with the associations also included learning about their specific policy priorities and how Netsmart can support their advocacy efforts.

Netsmart is engaged in federal legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of its clients in several key areas, including more closely aligning 42 CFR Part 2 privacy regulations with HIPAA to ensure all clinicians involved in care for persons receiving substance use disorder treatment get the full picture of their health, while also maintaining appropriate privacy safeguards.

“This is an example of an issue that impacts patients and providers across all our client communities, both human services and post-acute,” said Scalia. “One resulting risk under current law is a clinician prescribing an opioid medication to someone who has an opioid addiction because it was not included in the health record the clinician received.”

Netsmart has a passion for connecting care settings. With that in mind, the final day of meetings culminated in a dinner with all five post-acute organizations, along with the National Council for Behavioral Health. The result was a lively discussion of the many similarities shared across the organizations, and common policy issues and potential synergies, resulting in new ideas and opportunities for future discussions.