Our long-term care news is continually updated from dozens of sources around our industry and the web.

Why Non-Therapy Ancillaries, Nursing are Key to High Performance Under PDPM

Skilled Nursing News (11/03/2022) – As the SNF sector enters its third year under the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), data analytics and consulting firms like Zimmet Healthcare Services Group are finding stark differences in reimbursement levels between top-performing operators and those at the bottom of the barrel.

For one, the top 10% of SNF providers have rates $70 over the average, while the bottom 10% of providers are $70 below the average. The difference is buried in nursing and non-therapy ancillary services, according to Zimmet Director of Analytics and Partner Vincent Fedele. Full story »

Soft skills, attention to high-performers drive retention, expert says

McKnights (11/01/2022) – In looking for the best answers on how to address historic staffing challenges in senior living, according to a “human capital” expert, the secret is to go back to the future.

“Get back to the basics of things we’ve known for decades,” said Karl Ahlrichs, a senior consultant at risk management adviser Gregory & Appel. He spoke on challenging perceptions about managing staff Monday during a LeadingAge membership call.

The “secret sauce” to retention in an industry that offers an “altruistic fulfillment of making a difference,” Ahlrichs said, is being a boss who listens to people. Building and maintaining relationships, he said, is the “golden skill.” Full story »

Why Special Focus Facilities Could Give Turnaround Experts Pause After CMS Program Changes

Skilled Nursing News (10/26/2022) – An already risky move to turnaround a building on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Special Focus Facility list may become an even greater challenge. Those that have taken on the task say recent punitive restrictions could mean less operators will opt to purchase these types of facilities in future.

In turn, especially in rural areas, that could translate to less access for residents in need of skilled nursing or long-term care — in the event facilities close. Full story »

Moral injury program addresses growing evidence of COVID’s frontline impact

McKnights (10/27/2022) – An expanding program aims to address the moral injury suffered by frontline nursing home and aging services staff, whose struggles with pandemic-era care delivery are being illustrated in a growing body of research.

Volunteers of America, a nonprofit organization providing a range of housing and services for seniors, the homeless and people with disabilities recently added moral injury resources to its lengthy list of programming. Full story »

Operators See ‘Glimmer of Relief’ As Staffing Concerns Shrink

Skilled Nursing News (10/22/2022) – While the ever-present staffing shortages have continued to challenge operators across the industry, some indications may show a “glimmer of relief” as the most severe workforce woes could be behind the industry.

Just 9% of senior care operators reported severe staffing shortages at their organization — down from 25% of respondents who reported the same back in March, according to the most recent NIC Executive Insights Survey collected between Sept. 19 and Oct. 16. Full story »

BREAKING: CMS toughens stance on worst-performing nursing homes

McKnights (10/21/2022) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced it is increasing its scrutiny of chronically low-performing nursing homes by revising its Special Focus Facility Program.

The agency said it will toughen requirements for completion of the program, increase enforcement actions and lengthen the monitoring period for facilities that enter the program. Showing its commitment to staff improvement, CMS also called on states to consider a facility’s staffing level in determining which facilities enter the SFF Program. Full story »

Study aims to blunt staff burnout, make emotional well-being essential for staff health, resident care, and employee retention

McKnights (10/19/2022) – Creating and continuing a culture of well-being and mental health care for nursing home staff is a powerful tool for not only helping residents but attracting and retaining employees, says the National Academy of Medicine in the National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being it released Tuesday.

The plan was sparked by healthcare’s burnout epidemic, which has resulted in employee flight and poorer resident care. The vision of the plan is that people, including long-term care residents, will be cared for by a health workforce that is thriving in an environment that fosters their well-being as they improve population health, enhance the care experience, reduce costs and advance health equity. Full story »

Value different things, ask different questions to improve quality, say Moving Forward committee members

McKnights (10/19/2022) – DENVER – One of the key changes to improving the quality of care in nursing homes is shifting the focus on what’s measured, said two Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition committee members Tuesday at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo.

Four members of the seven committees of the Moving Forward effort that sprang from the study released last spring by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine identified their roles and visions for making nursing homes more important to the public and government. Moving Forward is convened by LeadingAge. The session was titled “Nursing Home Quality: Implementing the New NASEM Study.” Full story »