Noble Call To Action: Long Term Care Facilities
The COVID-19 pandemic was a catastrophe that no one was prepared for, especially in nursing homes. Nursing homes were already ailing even prior to the pandemic, experiencing a host of problems such as continued staffing issues, a steadily declining census, implementation of new reimbursement methodology, and continued declining Medicaid reimbursement, just to name a few. The added atrocities of the pandemic only fueled the fire thus creating an industry atmosphere where the ever mounting difficulties for some nursing homes may just prove to be unsustainable.
Seniors today are living longer with increased chronic conditions necessitating for many the need for extended and extensive high levels of healthcare services. Despite the progression of dedicated funding and resources aimed for aging in place services, options such as in home care aging in place are not yet fully suited for many of our seniors due to the intensity of their healthcare needs. Certainly, most of our seniors would choose to remain in their homes if they could. Yet, while there are currently some financial assistance options in place for some seniors the fact is that home care most often results in resident and/or family out of pocket expenses.
Yes, the pandemic will help force changes in long term care service delivery but where it all lands is anybody’s guess. Aging in place, particularly at home as an option is a wonderfully appealing concept IF and WHEN we actually have comprehensive policy, reimbursement, commensurate care skill and other resources in place to ensure cost effective high care quality for all seniors regardless of the extent of their care needs. But, let’s be really honest here, the long term care industry as a whole historically does not move quickly. The pandemic is certainly moving change at an increased pace however nursing homes today, as they are, remain the typical care option for our seniors and disabled who require long term, and often extensive healthcare services.
So, to nursing home leaders, at this most unprecedented time, a noble call to action! Despite all of the incredible odds stacked against you in this most inhospitable, unfair and changing environment our seniors absolutely rely on you to do everything in your power to ensure that a high level of care quality is delivered right now. So, leaders please get out in front. Face the issues at hand. Embrace the ever growing technological advances. Dare to be transparent in communication with residents, staff and families no matter how bad the message, collaborate with others in the community and industry. Seek help from experienced, highly skilled healthcare consulting professionals for reimbursement, compliance and care quality improvement. Nursing homes are still here, so are all of the issues, and so are our seniors.
Article written by Michael Masse
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