With the pandemic imposing the need for skilled nursing facilities to move away from institutional type settings, more SNF operators have taken a page from the hospitality industry — adding concierge-like services and hotel-style accommodations.
Generations Healthcare, for instance, recently completed construction on a 116-bed nursing home in Temecula, Calif. – following the opening of a newly built nursing home in Henderson, Nev. a few years back — and designed both facilities to feel more like a hotel.
Since opening in 2021, Temecula Healthcare Center has done “extremely well” with close to occupancy of 100 beds out of the 116-bed facility.
While both facilities may better match what residents want in their skilled nursing facilities in 2022, Thomas Jurbala, director of project development at Generations Healthcare, has doubts about whether more high-end SNFs can be built like it.
“I don’t know how much you’re going to see of that style just because of the cost versus what you are getting paid back,” he said. “You’re going to see that style continue as you’ve seen it in assisted living and senior apartments. I just don’t think there’s a way to make those amenities [work for SNFs] based on today’s reimbursement rates is the big problem.”
Generations is not the only operator to look to the hospitality industry for guidance, with some like PruittHealth investing in more concierge-like and home health services, while others like Monarch Healthcare Management are focusing more on customer service moving forward.
“We’re going to try to bring the Ritz-Carlton mentality to our facilities over 2022,” Monarch Healthcare Management CEO Marc Halpert told Skilled Nursing News. “Just like the Ritz-Carlton gold standard and their lion stands out, the orange and Monarch butterfly will stand out as well.”
Despite reimbursement challenges, both of Generations Healthcare’s newest facilities have been successful from the beginning.
“You don’t see too many facilities like the Henderson one,” Jurbala added. “You walk in and it’s got this grand two-story lobby with a chandelier that makes it look like you’re walking into a casino. There’s a lot of outdoor space on the second deck, the rooms all have views of the [Las Vegas] Strip.”
The Henderson facility was built with hospitality philosophies in mind and designed with more of a “casino-look” to match the community it resides in. It offers concierge services and includes “over the top” rooms with updated technology, better WiFi and access to “what residents would have at home in a hotel room.”
Las Vegas also resides in a “heavy” managed care community as Jurbala credits the contracts the facility has been able to maintain as a big part of its success.
“There’s some operators that all they do is short-term care, we do a mix but more heavily towards short-term Medicare patients,” he said. “We have some really good contracts that serve all the city and the tourists. People don’t realize how much there could be potential business of the tourists coming to town and having a medical episode while they are visiting.”
The facility was built intentionally to accommodate more short-term rehab patients.
“We have outpatient rehab there so we’ll do rehab in the building and we’ll go outside to their homes and service them at their homes,” Jurbala added. “But the rehab area is probably twice the size that typically we build.”