October looms as a month of major change for the skilled nursing industry with the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program slated to launch next Monday. With hospitals facing stiff penalties for patient readmissions, SNFs are poised to play a key role in efforts to reduce readmissions with quality issues taking center stage.
Quality, quality, quality. LTC providers have had the word seared into their brains and psyches since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Quality measures, quality targets, quality assurance and performance improvement—the number and variety of initiatives are mind boggling. While person-centered care and system efficiencies are targeted positive outcomes, industry players can’t deny the pressure to perform is intense and unrelenting and will only become more so in months to come.
And if providers aren’t feeling enough heat from the regulatory community, the money folk are laser focused on quality as well, as demonstrated during last week’s NIC (National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry) conference.
Senior housing and care borrowers looking to secure new construction, expansion or renovation funds better be ready and able to demonstrate high performance in multiple quality metrics including rehospitalization rates, and every manner of clinical care measurement including falls, pressure ulcers and unplanned weight loss. “Lenders now look at quality measures more than in the past and will only align with good operators,” Capital One’s Imran Javaid, said, in an interview with Long-Term Living.
“Quality operators will be in high demand for investors in this sector,” echoed Randy Richardson, NIC board chairman and president, Vi, addressing conference attendees. “The role of the operator has been recognized as more important and that trend will continue,” reminding attendees that “we need to do a better job of serving our residents going forward.”