Last week, our team attended the annual Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) convention. Our Senior Customer Success Director Debi Damas also lead a session on the state of senior care. She discussed pandemic challenges and encouraged the exchange of strategies to mitigate change. The following is a recap of this valuable session.
Where does senior care stand and what the heck happened?
- Nursing home staffing shortages only worsened as 2020 came to a close
- 48 states saw occupancy of 80% or less, with some as low as 56%
What can senior organizations do right now?
- Develop purpose-driven, compassionate staff
- Adopt technology to increase connectedness, efficacy, and optimal health
- Embrace telehealth
- Develop a culture of positive aging framed by wellness
- Establish trust by being prepared for emergencies and unexpected events
What happened with senior living census?
- Increased push to home health care
- People wanted no part of facility-based care
- Long-term care (LTC) facilities were not admitting
- Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) turned beds/halls into COVID units
- Senior care providers are now seeing slight increases in census
How can senior organizations build census?
- Marketing value-adds to prospective residents:
- Wellness focus
- Sharing positive performance data with hospitals:
- Vaccination rates
- Infection control
- Outcome data, readmission rates
- Identifying an ideal niche based on ICD code(s)
How does revenue look in senior care?
- 55% of SNFs are operating at a loss
- Significant increases in claims denials, resulting in more reviews
- Some managed care is moving from PDPM to levels
- Per Mark Parkinson (CEO of AHCA/NCAL), long term success comes down to:
- State Medicaid rates
- Payer mix
- Operational excellence
What staffing trends emerged among senior care employers?
- Rigid schedules/Inflexible call off policies
- 23% of nursing homes had direct care staff shortages in May
- 96% received some government assistance
- 47% received funds from Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP)
- 82% received funds from CARES Act/Provider Relief Fund
- 52% received Medicaid add on or increase from state government
What can senior care organizations do to improve staffing?
- Increase the ways you make staff feel valued
- Change your pay structure
- Offer bonuses – sign-on, working all scheduled shifts, etc.
- Revise staffing policies to benefit employees
- Increase flexibility to accommodate child/eldercare challenges
- Provide a career path; demonstrate benefits of added skills and education
- Be attentive and thorough with screening and hiring
To reiterate one of Debi's earlier points, technology can help. Here are three senior care providers who are benefiting right now from our software.