BPCI Tutorial Video 9: Acute vs Post Acute
Within healthcare, the term acute is used in different contexts to mean different things.
A sudden onset condition, such as a cold, cough, or fever, is often referred to as an acute illness.
A hospital or other setting where a patient receives active care for an emergent medical need, such as a surgery or heart attack, is typically referred to as an acute care setting.
In the BPCI world, we use acute to refer to specific time periods within an episode. An episode of care is divided into an acute period (or anchor period), that includes anchor hospitalization followed by the post-acute (or post discharge) period. Any expenses incurred during the anchor hospitalization including medical supplies, hospital bed charges, physician / specialist charges, diagnostics, and any durable medical equipment would count as “acute spend amounts”.
Any medical spend after discharge from the anchor hospital stay is considered post acute (PAC). Typically, PAC spend might consist of follow up visits to a doctor, additional tests, SNF, HHA, LTAC, IRF spend. The post acute period may include readmissions to hospitals (acute care setting), but those readmissions in the BPCI world are still considered post acute care events since they are outside the acute time box.