You are currently viewing Tim Poore: A Patient Placement Specialist’s Perspective on Healthcare

Tim Poore: A Patient Placement Specialist’s Perspective on Healthcare

We get a patient placement specialist’s perspective on healthcare from Tim Poore on this episode of the Perspectives on Healthcare podcast with Rob Oliver. Tim is the CEO of ATP Healthcare, a company that specializes in finding discharge placements for patients with complex needs. Located in Florida, he is a member of Generation X.

Here are 3 things that stood out as Tim Poore gave a patient placement specialist’s perspective on healthcare:

· When patients don’t exactly fit the mold, they are extremely difficult to find a placement for coming out of the hospital. (This includes high acuity, criminal backgrounds, developmental disabilities, ventilator dependent and bariatric patients.)
· Quality healthcare is something that is fair for everyone. It must start the patient moving in the right direction.
· It is important for medical professionals to take leadership and to speak out about the realities of the issues that they face on the front lines.

You can learn more about Tim Poore and ATP healthcare through the links below:


Here is the text of Tim Poore sharing a patient placement specialist’s perspective on healthcare:

Introduction to Tim Poore

Rob Oliver: Thank you and welcome to another Perspectives on Healthcare podcast. Today’s perspective comes from Tim Poore. Tim is located in Florida where he says it’s cold, but I don’t necessarily believe him. Coming from Pittsburgh, Tim is a patient placement specialist. He is with ATP Healthcare and he is a member of Generation X. Tim, welcome to the podcast.

Tim Poore: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Tell me about yourself and your role in healthcare

Rob Oliver: No problem. So let’s jump right into this and tell me a little bit about yourself and your role in health care, please.

Tim Poore: So, of course, my name is Tim. I’m with the CEO of ATP Health Care. We are a company that specializes in finding placement options for extremely challenging patients for hospitals. It’s not necessarily a company that we chose to open up or start, but we definitely saw there was a need, unfortunately, and that was something we really much excelled in doing. We started several years ago prior to Cobalt, assisting hospitals with some of the more challenging patients, and we’ve been developing our services since then. So it’s been going along for several years now. And I always say it’s like I wish it didn’t exist, but we do the best we can with what we got.

Rob Oliver: Okay. What you say brings up two questions for me. Okay. When you say that the company finds placement for patients that are difficult to place, can you talk about what you mean by placement? And then can you also talk a little bit about what it means, what makes patients difficult or challenging to find placement for? Please.

Tim Poore: So hospitals are essentially they’re the factory of modern society. That’s the vast majority of the economy for an area. It’s surrounded on healthcare, and they definitely have systems and forms on how they want things done. And sometimes patients in the healthcare system don’t quite fit into the holes or things that they have prepared already. And typically, we see these patients with high acuity or criminal status or social issues that are going on with them. If they have a history of behaviors or even developmental disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, the hospital kind of doesn’t necessarily have the most about time. There’s been resources devoted to developing what’s needed to get those patients into a safe place when they’re done with the hospital. So we look for options for a hospital. Sometimes it’s skilled nursing, sometimes long term care, sometimes it’s somebody who can help the hospital. They have a background, they’re in a group home or something like that. But we’re looking for safe discharge options for the hospital, the place safe for the patient to put the rest of their head at night.

Rob Oliver: Okay. I’ll be totally honest with you. I’m shocked by your answer. Okay. I was expecting you to say that they have a disease that nobody wants to have in their facility. But you’re talking about things that are definitely secondary issues to the presenting healthcare issue that they’re having. You’re talking about their personal whether it’s their personal development when it comes to people or individuals with developmental disabilities or it comes to criminal background and so on.

Tim Poore: There’s also clinical issues, too. Patients are on a vent, they’re requiring dialysis or extreme bariatric. And I’m talking about anybody over 350 pounds. Right now, we’re working with a few hospitals on patients who are over 800 pounds. We’re seeing this a lot post-COVID. So those are issues too, but the vast majority is pretty much going to be automatic that we’re going to get a call if it’s one of those other types of issues.

Rob Oliver: Wow. Okay. So in the world of health care, how much does that those secondary issues play into people getting the healthcare that they need?

Tim Poore: So it affects roughly on hospital population, just a couple of percentage points, two to three percentage points we often consider. But when you look at a hospital day to day, that’s quite a lot that builds up over time. And so those costs inevitably ends up onto the burden of the people who live around that hospital, the community hospital being form of taxes or whatever it may be, village rates, that sort of stuff, even commercial insurance. Sometimes hospitals will eventually pass that on to commercial insurance. They don’t want to, but they have to keep the lights on and pay for their services.

Rob Oliver: Okay. So I would imagine that what you are doing is you’re looking for quality outcomes for the individuals that you’re serving. Which leads me to the next question.

What is your definition of quality healthcare?

Rob Oliver: What does quality health care mean to you?

Tim Poore: Right. So, quality healthcare has to be something that’s fair for everybody. And we’re looking for essentially not something that’s going to just be a 72 hours visit in the hospital and then they push you out. But something that’s going to genuinely set the patient in the right direction to get some momentum and keep it going. They’re acute area. They’re only going to be able to fix minimum amounts of problems at that time. If there’s 20 years of issues that are coming into the hospital, they’re not going to be able to fix in those 72 hours. But we’re going to assist the hospital on trying to keep that momentum going, finding a good place where that patient can get healthy and keep going with that. So quality healthcare looks like to us, we want to make sure that we’re fair. It’s equitable, but the patient has a safe and quality place to rest their head at night.

What does quality healthcare looks like?

Rob Oliver: Okay. So can you give me an example of quality healthcare?

Tim Poore: One hospital we worked with about a year ago, the first time we’ve ever worked with this hospital, and not very large. It’s a couple of hundred bed hospital. They don’t have a whole lot of money. Their budget was we have to look at these things, these profits and stuff like that for hospitals. And they were running about just over a percentage point at the end of the day, which is on the Larry To low side. For a hospital, it’s critically low that’s all your capital improvements are. So they contacted us about finding placement for these three challenging patients. And these patients have been in the hospital for combined about two years. In between 18 and 24 months in that range. We were able to find placement for them pretty quickly. Within a day, we had a very large statewide search for stuff like that. The chief financial officer came to me and called us and said, we’ve spent a lot of time with these patients. Give it a little bit more time. If you can find better buildings, we’ll go with that. But we put too much effort into these patients to send them out quickly. We want to make sure we have the best options available so that’s quality health care, I would say, because everybody on both sides, on all sides has bought into doing what’s right for the patients. That’s a relationship that we value a lot. And we work very hard for that hospital. For a hospital executive on that side, usually we hear the length of state meetings and stuff like that. We always hear horror stories, whatever. Most of these executives are doing the very best they can with what they got. They see every day what’s going on with their hospital. But for a CFO, for a hospital to just straight out say, hey, it’s okay, take your time, find the best places you can. Guess what we did. We raised the star levels on all three patients, so we had apparently were going to, at this point, mid level, three star building, which is not bad. And then we had one that was going to a four star building, I’ll take that. For a patient that’s been in there for a year, I’ll take that. And they’re doing good.

Rob Oliver: Sure. Okay. So I’m curious about this then, because I’m sure there are people around the country who are like, listen, I know somebody or I have a family member, someone who may have some of these difficult circumstances. Do you only serve the state of Florida or do you work nationwide or what’s the scope of the work that you do?

Tim Poore: No, we work nationwide. We work with hospitals from coast to coast. We also work with individuals, too. We advise the individuals to contact their hospital, but we’re extremely reasonable on that side because most of the patients we’re talking about here, unless you’re independently wealthy, it’s pretty difficult. Health care is tough. So we put our price pretty reasonable. Okay. And the same for hostels, too, actually, I probably shouldn’t say that too loud.

Rob Oliver: Well, right okay. But this is to me, I see what you’re doing as a service that assists both the hospital because the hospital is saying, we have these people that are here who don’t need to be here anymore, but we don’t want to send them to a place that’s just getting them out of here. We want to send them to a place where they are going to be able to continue to get better, to improve and hopefully be able to get back to what they enjoy doing and to get back to their life. And at the same time, there are people who are in the hospital and are saying, I don’t want to be in the hospital anymore. I want to get back to my life. How do I do that? And you’re building bridges for both of those where for the patients, it’s a bridge out of the hospital. And for the hospitals, it is a direction that is a continuation of care and not just a discharge. Thank you for doing that.

What do you wish people understood about your role in healthcare?

Rob Oliver: What do you wish people understood about your role in healthcare?

Tim Poore: Our role in healthcare shouldn’t exist. It’s not a good sign that our company is doing what it’s doing. There should be, especially on the post acute care side. COVID just showed the issues that have been going on post acute has been suffering in most States for a very long time. I actually came from a background where I work with a private equity firm. We used to purchase nursing facilities. I walked away from it. I basically said we drove off a cliff. I don’t know what the event is going to be, but we’re not recovering from it, whatever it is. And there has to be some major reform in them. A lot of it is coming to what States pay for the care of an individual. Right now we have a patient who is not even 30 and we’re seeking short term rehab for them. But the reality of it is very well could easily be long term care. We’re looking for this individual. They’re over 700 pounds. They’re going to need some rehab. But this is an individual who stayed sheltered for the past two years. They were concerned about getting COVID and now they’re out and about and of course they need rehab now and our healthcare system just isn’t set up for this.

Rob Oliver: Yeah, well, the other thing to consider is when you look at the MDS, the minimum data set from CMS, what you’re finding is people that are being discharged to nursing facilities. I think that the statistic is it is like 89% or something are being discharged for rehab, and yet the discharge rate from nursing facilities is less than 50%, which means that people are going there for rehab and whatever is happening with their rehab, it’s not resulting in them leaving the facility to return to the community. So I think what you’re doing is working to make sure that people get the care that they need in a way that allows them to get back to the community.

Tim Poore: Yeah, it’s challenging. There’s a lot of individuals returning back to the community. Most likely not going to be an option. And the other thing on the skilled nursing side, it’s going to sound like I would be beating up on L tax here for a moment. I have no other way of putting it, but we’re basically the only country in the world, as far as I understand, that have these long term acute care hospitals. And a lot of times they’re used by hospitals just to discharge somebody’s challenging patients because they don’t know what to do and they get, hey, they have insurance. So let’s go send them over here. And unfortunately, that’s a very expensive hotel. I’m not necessarily saying that a patient needs to be in a hotel, but a patient could definitely be most likely into a skilled nursing facility if the skilled nursing facilities in that area kind of stepped up on their game a little bit. We see a lot of skilled nursing facilities that can take, for example, respiratory patients, vent trace patients, vent dialysis, or extreme Bariatrics in the Midwest from Texas northward. The reason why we see that is because we don’t see that many L tax in the area. It’s just every day for them. Whereas an east on the coast where we see a lot more L tax, we see a hospital, we see skilled nursing facilities much more resistant. That started to change up in the Northeast because LTC become very unpopular in New Jersey and New York and stuff like that.

Rob Oliver: Okay. What you have is something that was designed to be a step from one level of care to the next level of care becomes a stopping place rather than a stepping stone.

Tim Poore: Exactly. They had their original mission of really being that step down. It’s a different story. Sure.

What excites you about the future of healthcare?

Rob Oliver: Right. What excites you about the future of health care?

Tim Poore: So what we’ve seen probably in the past couple of years is clinicians and specifically physicians being much more vocal how we do health care in this country. They are reporting much more from the front lines. They’re taking leadership. I think this is something that we really need to see more of. I think there’s a lot of money in health care. Obviously, that’s not a bad thing because having money helps pay for things.

Rob Oliver: It is what makes the world go around.

Tim Poore: Right. There you go doing that. But also we want to make sure we have our clinicians very much the forefront, leading that discussion on what it is that we need. Okay. That’s what has me most excited. I really want to see more clinicians, especially the nurses, too, speaking up on what it is. That what they really need to take care of their patients.

Suggestions for improving healthcare quality

Rob Oliver: Got it. Last question. We are almost out of time. What is one thing medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of healthcare?

Tim Poore: I think communication would probably be probably the biggest thing that I would probably focus on. Healthcare is always so key with communication that would be probably the biggest key that I would make sure they understand be good listeners be a good question. I vary on that topic a lot but I would definitely be leaning towards that.

Rob Oliver: Okay. Wonderful. Listen Tim Poore thank you so much for being here. Thank you for the work that you do. I appreciate your willingness to share and I respect your perspective on healthcare.

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Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by guests on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast are solely the opinion of the guest. They are not to be misconstrued as medical diagnoses or medical advice. Please consult with a licensed medical professional before attempting any of the treatments suggested.

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