Data is quickly becoming a must-have for skilled nursing providers looking to shore up their post-acute business. Post-acute patients generally have high-acuity needs that result in higher daily reimbursements, usually by Medicare. As some hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans increasingly bear more financial risk for these patients, they will seek partnerships with providers that can demonstrate their ability to provide a high level of care and potentially avoid costly rehospitalizations. With the entry of other risk-bearing entities, such as accountable care organizations, into the marketplace, the need to demonstrate value will grow.
Setting business strategies for an unclear future continues to challenge many in seniors housing and care. It’s an issue that multiple sessions at the 2017 NIC Spring Investment Forum, March 22–24 in San Diego, CA, will address.
Skilled nursing operators—and those who invest in the sector—are no strangers to challenges. Over the past few years, government, payor, and operator initiatives across the country have been working to create a new health care delivery and payment system, and these initiatives are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In fact, some industry leaders suggest that it could be two years until we see a narrowing of networks and partner alignment that will expose the winners and potential losers of the emerging system.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded an investigation into Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data on nursing homes, staffing practices, and financial performance by recommending that CMS make such data more easily accessible by the public and ensure the data’s validity. The agency’s report underscores the need for more and better financial skilled nursing data in the industry.
With so much uncertainty about the changing health care payment and delivery system, can operators create new successful business strategies that attract investment, or is that just a dream on the far side of the rainbow?