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Staying on Top of Census Challenges

One of the significant concerns with skilled nursing and senior care facilities is managing and growing the census.

At a summit this year, Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the AHCA, told Skilled Nursing News, "I think the census needs to recover about 1% a month. If we can recover 1% a month on a steady basis, you know, that gets us to the end of 2021. And we're still down, but we're down 5% or 6%; we're not down 13% or 14%. If we recover half a percent, some businesses will be ok, but not all. If we only recover half a percent, we don't get any more money; folks are going to have problems. If we don't have any recovery on census, things are very, very bad."

Over the past year and a half, COVID-19 issues have been at the forefront. Coupled with an already struggling economy, we have to ask ourselves, how do we get ahead of this and stay on target?

Here are three key factors that can help meet and exceed this goal:

  1. Understand exactly where you stand with census.

Consistently monitoring your census gives you the information you need to identify marketing, admissions, and even process gaps. Setting census development targets and managing to those targets allows you and your team to stay on top of fluctuations and take proactive steps.

2. Watch your Five-Star Rating.

With so many consumer compare sites out there; families are more discerning than ever. Most buyers will factor a facility's Five-Star rating into their decision. Consistently monitoring staffing and quality and making proactive decisions will help you keep the stars you need to increase census.

3. Understand where referrals are coming from and why admissions are denied.

Having a good understanding of where referrals are coming from most often and when referrals sources are slowing down can help you understand where to focus additional activity. Monitoring the reasons why admissions are not accepted is equally essential. Is there another insurance type you should accept? Is there staffing or training that might allow you to accept more admissions based on other care needs? Keeping a close eye on these metrics will allow you to manage your census development strategically.

Having knowledge and insight readily available will help you develop your census more efficiently.

Recognizing the importance of these factors is great but pulling and evaluating the information can be tedious and time-consuming.

If you use electronic health records, time and attendance software, and CRM systems, this information should all be available to you. It's just not in one place.

With the right tools, you can work more quickly, more efficiently, with more insight, and without duplicating work.

CareWork makes it easy to manage operations and keep an eye on census development. Through integration with the systems you already use, we tie your data together and provide descriptive analytics on things like census, labor, clinical, procurement, receipts, revenue, collections, and quality so you can replicate what works and change what doesn't.

So, ask yourself, are you ready to grow? If so, contact us today.

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