Preference for post-acute care (PAC) interoperability up from 74% in 2021, 60% in 2019

April 18, 2023 — Nearly every U.S. hospital and physician entity is more likely to refer patients to a post-acute care (PAC) provider that can support electronic data exchange, according to the latest leading independent survey on interoperability, commissioned by Brightree and MatrixCare, wholly owned subsidiaries of ResMed.

The biannual Interoperability and Engagement Research Report surveyed over 130 hospital and physician entities that refer patients for PAC services, plus over 300 PAC providers across home health, hospice, home medical equipment, pharmacy, home infusion, and skilled nursing facilities.

Key Findings

The 2023 survey shows that referring entities expect PAC providers to exchange data electronically in order to help mitigate costly complications and help expedite and improve patient services:

  • 99% of the hospital and physician entities surveyed said they are more likely to send referrals to PAC providers who can support their interoperability needs, such as accepting electronic referrals. This is up from 74% in 2021 and 60% in 2019.
  • 96% of referring entities reported they are likely to send more referrals to PAC providers who have advanced patient engagement capabilities, such as digital signature capture and real-time data exchange.
  • While most PAC providers acknowledge the growing importance of interoperability, only 39% have advanced their interoperability strategies over the past 12 months, primarily due to workforce and financial resource constraints including:
    • Lack of knowledge about their underlying systems’ capabilities;
    • Lack of money/high cost associated with the efforts; and
    • Lack of time to focus on interoperability advancement.

Key Segment Highlights

Home Health and Hospice

  • 97% of PAC providers said they believe it is important to be able to exchange data electronically with their referral sources. This is up slightly from 95% in 2021 and dramatically from 34% in 2019.
  • 65% of PAC providers said they’re not fully satisfied with their EHR vendor’s ability to meet their most important interoperability needs. This is down slightly from 79% in 2021 and 85% in 2019.
  • 98% of PAC providers said interoperability is important to their referral sources. This is up significantly from 85% in 2021 and 34% in 2019.

Home Medical Equipment, Pharmacy, and Home Infusion

  • 99% of referring entities said they’d be more likely to send referrals to providers who can receive orders electronically.
  • Only 20% of HME providers and pharmacies said they receive referrals via electronic data exchange most of the time.
  • 50% of HME providers and pharmacies said they’re planning to implement new solutions that better support their interoperability goals.

Skilled Nursing Facilities

  • 100% of referring entities said it’s important for skilled nursing facilities to have a basic level of interoperability such as electronic health records (EHR) to earn their referrals (69% said very important).
  • 99% of referring entities said they’re more likely to send more referrals to skilled nursing facilities who are more capable of receiving orders electronically.
  • 79% of skilled nursing facilities said they intend to invest in more advanced interoperability capabilities in the future, with nearly half of those planning to do so in the next 12 months.

Interoperability demand is on the rise and one reason why is it enables the tracking of value-based care outcomes, which are also becoming more pervasive across healthcare. According to respondents:

  • 65% of referring entities report that greater than 25% of their revenue is now tied to value-based care arrangements; and
  • 51% expect that percentage to increase over the next 12-18 months.

“As trends such as value-based reimbursement, care-at-home models, and clinical staffing shortages continue to impact the healthcare landscape, it is critical that PAC providers adopt the interoperable capabilities they need to gain efficient access to tomorrow’s referrals, deliver quality care to their patients, and improve outcomes,” says Nick Knowlton, vice president of Strategic Initiatives at ResMed. “This research initiative supports our long-standing mission to address unmet needs for advanced interoperability and engagement solutions across the post-acute care continuum and beyond.”

Reference the full reports below:

Home Health / Hospice / Palliative Care / Private Duty Report
Home Medical Equipment / Pharmacy / Home Infusion
Skilled Nursing

PDFs of the above reports available upon request.


About Brightree Brightree enables out-of-hospital care organizations to improve their business performance and deliver better health outcomes. As an industry-leading cloud-based healthcare IT company, Brightree provides solutions and services for thousands of organizations in home medical equipment and pharmacy, home health, hospice and home infusion. Brightree is a wholly owned subsidiary of ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD). To learn more, visit and follow @Brightree on Twitter.

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Krista Gugliotti
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