Rethink Podcast #20: Fred Bentley of Avalere Health

The 20th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! The Patient-Driven Payment Model — and all the changes that came with it — officially arrived for skilled nursing providers in October 2019. The new Medicare reimbursement system for SNFs was top of mind throughout the year, but 2020 will bring a variety of new challenges, […]

Rethink Podcast #19: Fred Stratmann of CommuniCare

The 19th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! The opioid crisis has hit every part of the U.S. health care system – skilled nursing facilities included. But state and federal regulations haven’t moved as fast as the crisis, even though more and more providers are seeing these patients come through their doors. Leaders […]

Why the Median Skilled Nursing Margin Fell Below 0% — and How Operators Can Come Up from Underwater

Earlier this fall, a decades-old annual survey of nursing home finances revealed that for the first time, the median operating margin for the nation’s skilled nursing facilities fell below zero. While the statistics from consulting firm CLA weren’t necessarily surprising, given the micro- and macro-level challenges facing nursing home operators over the last decade, that […]

Rethink Podcast #18: Cory Rutledge of CLA

The 18th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! For the first time in 34 years, an annual report on nursing home finances found that the median operating margin for providers fell below zero. For CLA managing principal Cory Rutledge, a co-author of the report, the result wasn’t exactly surprising, given the headwinds battering […]

Rethink Podcast #17: Chris Bryson of Consulate Health Care

The 17th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! With 140 facilities, Consulate Health Care is something of an outlier in the skilled nursing world, and has seen its share of ups and downs related to its size. But after a strategic shrinking — and an overhaul to improve quality and care at the […]

With a ‘Shrink to Grow’ Plan Complete, a Strengthened Consulate Eyes Skilled Nursing Expansion

Stabilizing and turning around a single skilled nursing facility can take up considerable time and resources for any one provider. Turning around an operating company with more than 200 buildings and a multitude of internal systems takes even longer. Consulate Health Care needed multiple years. Chris Bryson who joined the Maitland, Fla.-based operator in September […]

‘It’s Not That Easy’: What Skilled Nursing Operators Should Consider Before Launching — or Joining — an I-SNP

On paper, a skilled nursing facility starting its own specialty Medicare Advantage plan sounds like an easy decision: In an era of tight reimbursements, staffing pressures, and length-of-stay declines, why not control the payment source that so frequently vexes them? But according to René Lerer, the calculus for Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs) just isn’t […]

Rethink Podcast #16: René Lerer of Longevity Health Plan

The 16th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! Over the last few years, there’s probably been no hotter topic in the skilled nursing space than I-SNPs — special Medicare Advantage plans that cover long-term residents of nursing homes and other institutional sites of care.As CEO of Longevity Health Plan, René Lerer has had […]

Rethink Podcast #15: Sue Craft of Henry Ford Health System

The 15th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! It’s never been a more important time for skilled nursing facilities to get to know their hospital partners, especially as SNFs face penalties for patient readmissions and a constant battle to maintain census and provide the best quality of care. That makes open lines of communication […]

Hospitals Also Face Length of Stay Pressures — and Skilled Nursing Can Help Ease The Burden

The relationship between skilled nursing facilities and their referring hospital partnerships can be a rocky one for both sides. But in an ideal world, it should be a partnership, with each willing to work together to achieve top patient and resident outcomes. For Sue Craft, the vice president of inpatient case management and post-acute services […]

CMS Chief Medical Officer: More Changes Coming to Nursing Home Compare, Quality Measures

The past several years have seen sweeping overhauls of nursing home enforcement on the federal level, and the Medicare program’s top clinical officer says her agency isn’t done beefing up its efforts. Dr. Kate Goodrich, the chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), promised that more changes are coming to […]

Rethink Podcast #14: CMS Chief Medical Officer Kate Goodrich

The 14th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! As the Medicare program’s top clinical official, Dr. Kate Goodrich has played a major role in the wave of nursing home regulatory scrutiny coming from Washington and Baltimore over the last few years.Goodrich and CMS administrator Seema Verma have placed skilled nursing facility compliance and […]

Rethink Podcast #13: Integrated Care Solutions CEO Brian Fuller

The 13th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! Skilled nursing providers can get chills at the thought of alternative payment models, which include Medicare arrangements such as bundled payments — one reimbursement shared by a range of providers for a single episode of care. After all, many bundled payment programs achieve their savings by cutting down […]

SNFs Need to Stop Thinking of Themselves as Targets for Cuts — and Get Creative

In a health care world of payment evolution and alternative reimbursement models, skilled nursing facilities have been feeling the pinch. There’s pressure to lower length of stay from both Medicare Advantage payers and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Multiple studies have found that ACOs and bundled payment models generate savings for the Centers for Medicare & […]

LTC’s Simpson: Senior Care Centers Bankruptcy Has Dragged, but REITs Aren’t to Blame for Distress

When the Dallas-based skilled nursing operator Senior Care Centers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December, management placed the blame firmly on its leases with its real estate investment trust (REIT) and other landlords, specifically calling them “expensive.” But Wendy Simpson, president and CEO of SCC landlord LTC Properties, Inc. (NYSE: LTC), says the […]

Rethink Podcast #12: LTC Properties, Inc. President and CEO Wendy Simpson

The 12th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! Publicly traded health care REITs have been blamed for some of the skilled nursing industry’s woes in recent years — after all, how can a provider keep up with annual escalators as it navigates an uncertain reimbursement landscape and ever-rising staffing costs?But Wendy Simpson, president […]

Rethink Podcast #11: AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson

The 11th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! Between the release of a “secret” list of underperforming nursing homes and multiple hearings on Capitol Hill, the skilled nursing industry has found itself under the regulatory and media microscope for most of 2019.And for the most part, Mark Parkinson thinks that’s a good thing.The […]

Parkinson: Releasing ‘Secret’ List Positive for Industry, But Nursing Homes Must Evolve — or Become a Commodity

The release of a so-called “secret” list of nursing homes considered for inclusion in a program for the nation’s worst properties sent shockwaves through the industry early last month — but the man in charge of the for-profit space’s primary trade group says the sunshine is ultimately a good thing for operators. As the skilled […]