Quality Elder Care: the Coming Challenges

In Executive Leadership, Healthcare, Human Capital Trends, Operational Excellence, Published articles or white papers on December 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Excerpts and Quotes from a 2010 article in Billians Healthdata that I was quoted in:
Jennifer Dennard, E-Media Marketing Specialist October 2010
Much has been written about the expected “silver tsunami” of senior citizens that will soon reach an age that often necessitates long-term care. The number of people 65 and over already hit the half-billion mark in 2008. That same population will soon outnumber children aged 5 and younger for the first time in history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Long-term care facilities are therefore facing a triple challenge of:
preparing for this record number of new patients;
maintaining and improving quality of care while facing staffing and financial challenges; and
adjusting to the impact of IT and other mandates resulting from healthcare reform.
Marc Herrera, Vice President of Skilled Nursing Administration and Risk Management at Southern California Presbyterian Homes (SCPH), which oversees five-star-rated, Glendale, Calif.-based Windsor Manor, sees things a little differently.

“Quite honestly, we are not in a good position to prepare for the influx of people forecasted to need long-term care services in the future because of the lack of capital and what appears to be a reducing number of people able to pay … [our annual] cost,” explains Herrera. “There is also a well-documented shortage of key personnel including administrators, directors of nursing and doctors.”

“Improvement in recruiting and retention are critical to future success,” says Brian Hudson, Senior Vice President at Avant Healthcare Professionals, a healthcare staffing company that provides professionals to long-term care facilities in 25 states. “This includes improving the quality and quantity of basic education and training; increasing financial incentives; improving the work environment; and employing progressive strategies to develop a robust healthcare workforce, which includes transitioning workers from other industries, and employing internationally trained healthcare professionals.”
“Nursing home care is predominantly a Medicaid-reimbursed program that does not adequately compensate for the true costs of care,” Herrera says. “The private pay population has been shifting to assisted living care for years. Healthcare reform will further incentivize payment to long-term care, but we are not seeing it yet.”

Hudson adds that “the challenges that assisted living facilities are faced with is the uncertainty of reforms and how they will impact profitability.”


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