Experts identify 3 key trends for the future of long-term care
Each year, healthcare experts gaze into the LTC crystal ball to get a leg up on the competition. While research confirms many of the predictions formulated over the past decade (such as insight on aging baby boomers), updated reimbursement procedures and other regulatory changes will also help shape the course of future care.
According to Jeffrey Jeter of Corporate Practice Group, facilities benefit greatly when they study upcoming trends. “These changes present both significant opportunities and serious challenges to SNFs,” he says. “But provided facilities undertake careful planning and disciplined execution, SNFs can and will flourish.”
3 LTC trends to watch
1. Baby boomers reach the brink By the year 2030, researchers say the boomers will add another 3 million people eligible for Medicare across America. This means facilities can expect high demand for services, but also an obvious strain on the reimbursement system.
Tip: To meet the changing needs of this key demographic, operators should embrace the new value-based payment model. The faster you adapt, the more opportunities you will have to cash in.
2. Skilled staff in hot demand
Now more than ever, facilities need to attract and retain top talent. It’s not enough to simply fill the estimated 5.6 million jobs required over the coming decade. With payment tied to quality, the pressure is on for providers to find the best professionals.
Tip: Smartphones, cameras and other forms of surveillance may complicate issues of patient privacy. But they can also help you monitor staff, encourage best behavior and ensure compliance. Do whatever it (legally) takes to weed out the bad apples.
3. Ethics are everything
Under new legislation, facilities will have to adopt and enforce strict ethics programs. Policies will have to be written out in detail and enforced by dedicated staff members. Requirements for compliance will be even more tedious for operators with 5+ facilities.
Tip: Expect to devote at least $10,000 per year as part of your compliance efforts. Instead of tackling the complex process alone, hire an expert to kick-start your program. Having an ethics ‘refresher’ course each year also helps educate staff.