Skilled Nursing Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Are You Ready for These Skilled Nursing Challenges?

When the United States Congress passed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT), it sent shockwaves throughout the healthcare industry. Now, two years later, post-acute care providers are still adjusting to new requirements for standardized patient assessment data in addition to an overarching emphasis on the patient-centered care model.

While the IMPACT Act has serious implications across the entire continuum of care, the long-term care industry is, perhaps, the most significantly affected segment of our healthcare ecosystem. In this post, we’ll explore several of the challenges facing skilled nursing providers resulting, at least partly, from new rules and regulations imposed by the IMPACT Act.

1. Adapting to a Fee-for-Value Model

No list of skilled nursing challenges would be complete without mentioning the fee-for-value reimbursement model. The Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Payment Program (SNFVBP) is set to launch in 2018 and the reimbursement penalties go into effect in 2019. When it does, skilled nursing providers will be tasked with accounting for not only the exact services offered to patients, but the actual quality of the care itself. One of the most important metrics for determining quality of care is number two on our list.

2. Reducing Readmission Rates

Your unplanned readmission rate is one of several key performance indicators that will play an important role in the SNFVBP. Skilled nursing providers with the best readmission rankings will receive the highest incentives from a payment pool managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Providers with poor readmission rankings will receive the lowest incentives. What does that mean for your company? To put it simply, if you’re in the bottom 40 percent, you’re leaving money on the table.

If your readmission rate is in the bottom 40%, you're leaving money on the table. Click To Tweet

3. Recruiting & Retaining Top Caregivers

Employee retention is one of today's top skilled nursing challenges

If you think it’s costly to hire a great certified nursing assistant or any other highly-qualified caregiver, you’re absolutely right. But, replacing a CNA can be costly too. Not only do you need to account for immediate recruiting and training expenses, you also need to consider the long-term effect on patient satisfaction. After all, when caregivers decide to move on, you aren’t just losing their expertise, you’re losing valuable patient relationships that could drive down satisfaction scores long after their departure.

4. Enhancing Resident Satisfaction

The CMS offers a five-star rating system for researching long-term care providers, but today’s consumers aren’t stopping there. According to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, social media and online review sites like Yelp are increasingly popular destinations for sharing experiences and posting reviews of skilled nursing providers. Although you can’t control what consumers are saying about you online, you can help avoid negative online reviews by focusing on cleanliness, response time, resident comfort and delivering superior customer service every time.

5. Improving Workflow

In many ways, solving the above challenges ultimately comes down to this. Why? A better workflow means a happier staff, happier residents, better quality of care and – most importantly – the continued growth of your company. Of course, improving your workflow on your own is easier said than done, especially when you consider the constantly changing regulations. And, as new elected officials take office throughout all levels of government, there’s no guarantee that the healthcare industry won’t soon face additional policy changes that could change the way you run your skilled nursing facility.

Skilled Nursing Software as a Solution

Luckily, you don’t need to face these challenges on your own. Powerful skilled nursing EHR software can provide your company with a user-friendly, resident-centered solution for improving your workflow, managing your revenue cycle and generating the reports you need for a better organizational outcome.

If you don’t have a skilled nursing EHR solution, or you’re unhappy with your current software, there are many options for your consideration. Just keep in mind that they aren’t created equal. Before you make a decision, make sure the software in question is a good fit for your business and that your vendor will work together with you to ensure the success of your new EHR.

MatrixCare Solves Skilled Nursing Challenges

MatrixCare skilled nursing software solutions are the superior integrated clinical and financial software products driving positive outcomes for skilled nursing providers. For more than three decades, we’ve helped companies like yours improve communication between caregivers, increase coordination between care settings and stay ahead of the competition. Ready to learn more? Let’s talk.

Kevin Whitehurst

Kevin Keith Whitehurst, Senior Vice President, Skilled Nursing Solutions, has been a key player in LTPAC technology since 1990. Whitehurst has held many leadership positions including IT Director for one of the first developers of MDS software systems to, most recently, SVP, Client Services for MatrixCare. In his current role, he is responsible for the success of the Skilled Nursing Solutions Group and oversees Product Management, Professional Services, Sales and Marketing, and Client Support for that group. A 26 year veteran, Whitehurst has dedicated his career to improving Skilled Nursing Providers experience with technology. Whitehurst holds degrees from San Bernardino Valley College and the Los Angeles School of Business and also served in the U.S Air Force.