Riding out the pandemic: What Skilled Nursing Facilities Need to Stay Afloat
Mounting costs from the pandemic coupled with sharp drops in revenue have pushed long-term care into "the worst financial crisis in years," leaving residents, families, and workers in an uncertain position. Thousands of facilities say they are struggling to keep their doors open. There were challenges before COVID-19, but now providers are dealing with increased operating costs, nationwide staffing shortages, and a decline in occupancy, adding more burden than ever.
Mark Parkinson, CEO of AHCA/NCAL, said in a statement, "Even though COVID-19 cases in long-term care are at historic lows, providers are continuing to struggle to recover from the economic crisis the pandemic has induced." The cost to fight COVID-19, chronic underfunding of Medicaid, and the number of patients dropping to record lows have led the industry to nearly collapse.
Government leaders are aware of the crisis, and President Joe Biden's proposed infrastructure bill would allocate a historic $400 billion investment to support home and community-based services.
No single solution will address all the financial needs for long-term care facilities; however, improving access to federal resources will help.
Meanwhile, there are steps providers can take to ensure they stay afloat until the crisis is slowed. It comes down to three key focus areas.
Use Resources Strategically
Simply cutting back is not an option. Cutting too deep can backfire. A strategic approach to operating more efficiently can have a tangible impact on costs. Benchmarking and analytics can be especially helpful. By taking a holistic view of operations and using the data you have to tell a story, leaders can make better-informed decisions that directly impact costs.
Resources must also be allocated accurately and strategically. Is staffing being adjusted for fluctuations in census, and are employees scheduled to control overtime? Are employees duplicating work on manual tasks and in multiple systems? Are teams keeping an eye on procurement spending and PPDs? These questions only scratch the surface.
Providers are struggling to do more with fewer resources. Facility leaders and staff need to be able to do twice the work in half the time. More and more operators are using technology to fill the gap.
CareWork gives teams automated tools to increase quality, control costs, reduce waste, and get jobs done faster. We give providers an easy way to strategically manage operations in one place without the need to hire additional in-house IT experts. Processes and reports that used to take hours take minutes in CareWork. We make work life easier.
Ready to use your resources strategically and improve your financial performance? If so, contact us today.