Skilled Nursing Must-Reads: SNFs in a Decade, Post-Acute Confusion

The last five days were dominated by a pair of major real estate investment trust (REIT) dramas — Sabra Healthcare REIT, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: SBRA) successful shareholder vote to acquire Care Capital Properties (NYSE: CCP), and Quality Care Properties’ (NYSE: QCP) decision to seek receivership for the struggling HCR ManorCare’s facilities.

But much more happened in the SNF industry over the last five days, so let’s take a look at some of the headlines that might have fallen between the cracks.

During the ongoing Sabra-CCP drama, Sabra CEO Rick Matros repeatedly pointed to the necessity of skilled nursing facilities as a reason why they’re a solid bet for investors: People will always need this kind of care, so simply writing it off due to current industry uncertainties  would be foolish. So Skilled Nursing News had a question: If SNFs aren’t going away, what will they look like in 10 to 15 years? We spoke with a variety of experts in the field to find out.

We also explored a problem that many hospital patients face upon discharge: picking the best SNF to handle their post-acute care. A recent study shows that hospitals often aren’t equipped to provide in-depth guidance, forcing patients to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations or randomly pick a facility from a list that features only names and phone numbers.

Finally, SNN heard from industry leaders who applauded a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposal to roll back certain payment bundles, and sought to figure out how SNFs can compete against a variety of businesses — from other health care providers to manufacturers to McDonald’s — for quality employees.

Elsewhere on the Web

Over at PBS NewsHour’s Ask Phil column, writer Philip Moeller provides a breakdown of the threats facing seniors’ care over the coming years, from nursing home lawsuit regulations to the classification of certain hospital stays as “observational” — thus preventing patients from receiving Medicare Part A skilled nursing coverage.

Moeller writes from the perspective of older Americans and their families, and thus has opinions that don’t necessarily align with those of the industry; for example, he criticizes CMS for moving to reinstate arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, a move recently lauded by the industry. But Moeller also highlights the growing problems ahead, such as potential future threats to Medicaid funding.

“As things presently stand, we cannot afford to pay for all the care that older Americans will need,” Moeller writes. “Budgets at the federal and state levels will not be able to foot this health care bill, and Lord knows that nearly all of us can’t afford to pay for it out of our own pockets.”

Written by Alex Spanko

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Alex Spanko
Assistant Editor at Aging Media Network

Alex covers the skilled nursing and reverse mortgage industries for Aging Media. Outside of work, he reads nonfiction, yells at Mets games from his couch, and enjoys pretty much any type of whiskey or scotch — often all at once.


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