Recently, Medline held a customer panel discussion at its Post-Acute Care National Sales Meeting that brought together key thought leaders from diverse healthcare segments – Acute to Skilled Nursing Home, Hospice, Home Health and Assisted Living – also including representation from Medline.
There is no better impact than hearing directly from our customers on their challenges and expectations. The following are three operational areas impacting their organizations:
Increasing regulatory requirements and lack of continuity: Regulations play a crucial role in the success of the healthcare industry. They ensure compliance and protect consumers. Over the recent years, post-acute care has experienced many regulatory changes around reimbursement and length of stay. Some changes stick and others get postponed by CMS. There are growing concerns on how the lack of continuity in regulatory changes will impact operators and their ability to keep pace.
Employee retention: Nearly 27 million Americans will require post-acute care services by 2050. The need for direct care workers will increase by over 200 percent. The demand is expected to outpace the availability of workers, causing a shortage that can be detrimental to the industry.
Clinicians are critical to a facility’s success, so leaders must be thinking about what they can do to retain staff. “We live in a culture where people are always thinking about the next opportunity,” said Todd Stern, CEO of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care. In order to have a happy and engaged workforce, you have to implement initiatives that enhance their workplace well-being.
Rising acuity: Assisted living communities are caring for residents with more complex care needs. Seventy-five percent of residents have difficulty with three or more activities of daily living. Facility operators need to figure out how they can keep that consumer-center approach while still being able to cater to higher acuity residents and keep their residents healthy and out of the hospital.
Assisted living used to be a social model, but with the rise in acuity cases, it has evolved into a medical model with a social conscience.
“Look ahead five years and you’ll be saying assisted living in the same breath that you say skilled nursing. We’re providing similar medical services as skilled nursing, such as ventilator care in select states,” says Chris Mason, president and CEO of Senior Housing Managers.
Additionally, as funding decreases, the demand for care is growing. Operators need partners across the care continuum that can help them be financially efficient while still providing high quality care.
“While our residents have always expected high quality services, we’re now doing more at the assisted living level to set quality measures in our care communities and measure outcomes,” added Mason.
From a hospice perspective, while payment streams remain intact, there’s more pressure to be cost-focused, which has created a growing awareness around accountability. The 30 day readmissions penalties force physicians to have a share in end-of-life care conversations with patients.
All of the healthcare segments have expectations from the marketplace and supply chain partners like Medline. Through proactive collaboration, partners can help each achieve operational success.