Aging Population, Hospital Partnerships to Drive SNF Patient Growth

April 2018

HIDA Post-Acute Insights

Acute care providers face increasing pressure from payers to lower readmissions, and a rising number of patients require post-acute care. As a result, hospitals and acute care facilities are increasingly working together. These partnership have tremendous potential as the U.S. population ages, especially since the number of patients seeking acute care is projected to grow from 8 million in 2012 to 27 million by 2050.

HIDA’s 2017 Post-Acute Market Report offers an in-depth look at the post-acute care market, as well as factors affecting demand and utilization. Among the key data points and trends gathered for this report:

Skilled nursing facilities and health systems anticipate collaboration, not consolidation
Neither health systems nor skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) anticipate an uptick in hospital ownership of nursing facilities. SNF providers report just 3% ownership by health systems and predict this figure will fall to 2% in the future. Similarly, only 2% of health systems target SNFs for acquisitions.
In lieu of outright acquisition, SNF providers expect to work more closely with hospitals. More than 40% of SNF leaders believe they will be the primary recipient of hospital discharges, and half of SNFs anticipate future partnerships with hospitals.

Discharges from hospitals to post-acute facilities to jump by over 60%
Discharges to post-acute facilities from hospitals and health systems are expected to rise from 5 million to over 8 million in 2035. Penalties for hospital readmissions, along with new payment models that promote coordination (such as within accountable care organizations), contribute to post-acute providers’ collaboration with hospitals.

Patients aged 75 to 84 currently make up the largest segment of acute discharges to post-acute settings. Patients 85 and older are a close second, and this segment is projected to grow substantially faster than the 65-75 and under-64 segments.

Medicare to remain largest SNF payer through 2021
Medicare paid $40 billion to SNFs in 2016 and this figure is projected to reach $50 billion by 2021, a 25% increase. By comparison, out-of-pocket payments are expected to increase by 14%, while both private insurance and Medicaid payments are expected to rise by 11%.

Growing demand a key topic at HIDA’s upcoming post-acute channel strategies conference
Provider, distributor, and manufacturer leaders will meet to discuss these trends and others at HIDA’s upcoming Post-Acute Channel Strategies Conference (May 1-2, Chicago IL). Topics on the conference agenda include:

  • Shifting settings for care
  • Changing decision-makers amid reimbursement changes
  • New provider needs as value-based payments take hold
  • The impact of these shifts on manufacturer-distributor relationships

To learn more, or to register for this conference, please visit And to purchase your copy of HIDA’s 2017 Post-Acute Market Report, visit