Skilled nursing woes rank high on non-profit senior living executives’ list of worries for the coming year.
The Chicago-based specialty investment bank Ziegler asked 160 chief financial officers — along with other financial professionals — in the non-profit senior living space to find out what’s keeping them up at night.
After the usual suspects of staff recruitment and labor costs, pressures on the skilled nursing and post-acute sides of their businesses came in third place, with 47% of the CFOs listing it as a top-five concern.
“Licensed care is our biggest area, increasing requirements with pressure on reimbursement and workforce issues — perfect storm,” said one anonymous respondent, according to Ziegler.
Other headaches included declining reimbursements (36%), rapid regulatory changes (28%), and competition from other providers (26%).
Non-profit operators have increasingly expressed concerns about the effects of providing skilled nursing services on their overall operations. Last month, Ziegler’s Lisa McCracken and Dan Revie released a report claiming that SNFs “have now become a detriment to their missions,” while providers in Texas claim that they face the choice of either compromising care or closing entirely amid tight Medicaid reimbursements.
“We remain concerned that public policy is limiting our ability to serve low- to moderate-income seniors, and we are being forced to cut back on that segment of our ministry in order to stay financially viable,” one executive said in the most recent Ziegler report. “Where will the growing number of low- and moderate-income seniors go to find safe and secure communities where they can experience meaning and purpose in their later years?”
Just about half of the polled executives said they believed their organizations were “well-positioned for the next generation of consumers,” while less than half said they could “keep up with the pace of change in technology.”
Still, the report had one small ray of hope for non-profit SNF operators.
“In 2017, we dedicated one skilled small house to focus on short-term rehab,” one executive told Ziegler. “So far, it has proven to be a success for us.”
Read the full results at Ziegler’s CFO Hotline.
Written by Alex Spanko