As we move into a post-pandemic world, it is hard to imagine life returning to the same normalcy that everyone enjoyed prior to the arrival of COVID-19 and the public health emergency, particularly if you work in the skilled nursing arena. The skilled nursing/long-term care (SN/LTC) industry felt the full effects of the pandemic with issues spanning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), staffing troubles, increased industry scrutiny and oversight, new reporting requirements and regulatory content, media attention and focus, and more.
The devastating impact of the coronavirus to the 65 and over population made the nursing home industry the epicenter of the pandemic with an estimated 40% of all deaths occurring within a nursing facility and 8 out of 10 deaths occurring in those 65 and over.
Multiple surveys and research questionnaires have identified two major issues facing the industry in the coming year: occupancy and staffing. While these come as no real surprise to an industry that has battled these issues year over year, the pandemic has made the situation much more acute and has certainly raised awareness.
Routine required testing of healthcare workers, with positive results requiring self-quarantining to reduce exposure risk, have exacerbated staffing shortages during the course of the pandemic. While essential and necessary, the impact to staffing models was often severe.
Occupancy challenges will likely necessitate some portions of the industry to find creative ways to make up the deficit in census, perhaps by taking more challenging or higher acuity types of patients or developing niche services to accommodate a market need. In either case, maximizing reimbursement for care and services provided will be critical to success.
While PDPM has remained essentially unchanged since its inception, no one really expects that to continue. Utilizing software solutions that provide real-time feedback and guidance to coding helps ensure not only accuracy of coding impacting outcomes data, but can provide insight into potential missed opportunities to maximize reimbursement. Certain data analytic solutions also assist providers with evaluating performance improvement efforts and modeling prospective scenarios that can assist with resource utilization and allocation to achieve desired outcomes.
The resumption of survey activity also presents a significant challenge. Preparing for the comprehensive review that comes with a standard survey has always been a rather daunting task. The outcome of a bad survey can have far-reaching effects on both occupancy and staffing. Utilizing data analytics to assist with preparing for a standard survey is essential to a successful outcome. The Five Star Rating system, while coming under increased scrutiny, remains the publically reported standard most often ascribed to the quality of care and services provided. Understanding how the measure is calculated and having clarity into the actionable items that can improve ratings remains essential to competitiveness in the market place.
IntelliLogix™ by SHP utilizes proven metrics and algorithms that help guide a user in decision making, from individual resident assessment to systemic reviews and factors affecting performance. Additionally, data presents in such a way as to easily guide users to relevant and actionable items to save valuable effort in analysis, allowing users to devote more time to care and implementing positive actions. IntelliLogix helps maximize the impact of the time and effort devoted to data accuracy and performance improvement to ensure continued success in the skilled nursing/long-term care industry.
Reach out today to find out how IntelliLogix™ can help your facility improve clinical, financial, and operational outcomes.
Greg Seiple, RN is the VP of Clinical Informatics at SHP with over 25 years’ experience in Clinical Services and Operations on the Skilled Nursing side having served at a Vice President or Senior Vice President of Clinical Services for several long term care companies during his career. Greg is also an adjunct instructor for Penn States Nursing Home Administrators course taught at the main campus in State College, PA.