A recent survey of CEOs at large skilled nursing facilities found that narrowing provider networks and evolving payment models rank among the biggest challenges for the industry. Those findings complement research conducted by ABILITY in which SNF executives cited cost pressures, revenue management, and delayed or lost revenue among their top issues.
The new survey results from large facility heads were presented at the LTC 100 Conference and reported by McKnight’s. The co-presenters, Lincoln Healthcare Leadership and Care Management Innovations, recapped a number of recommendations that, while tailored for large facilities, hold value for small and medium-sized SNFs as well. They suggest:
- Focusing on care quality, including reducing readmission rates and achieving high star ratings
- Improving data acquisition in order to “gather, understand, and act on performance data points”
- Collaborating downstream with home health or assisted living providers and other non-acute care providers
Presenters at the conference also emphasized the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage plans, with one executive observing that some facility leaders are behind the curve on planning for this payer shift. While typically well-liked by patients, Medicare Advantage plans can add to the administrative challenges for facilities, due to each plan having its own unique guidelines. They can also make it harder to stay up-to-date on patient eligibility, since some Medicare Advantage plans can enroll patients year-round. (For more on this and other eligibility challenges, see our flipbook.)
The experts concluded that technology may be the key unifying element that helps executives handle these challenges, citing the need for “predictive analytics and better care coordination” to cope with “a future strewn with bundled payments, accountable care organizations and other non-traditional alliances and payment methods.”