Each January, SNN tries to predict the top trends that will sweep the industry for the coming 12 months. COVID-19 completely wiped out the predictions they made for 2020, a year that began with the looming specter of clawbacks related to the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), further Medicaid strain, and the potential over-extension of organizations that had sought to diversify into new business.
The trends seem obvious with the change in our country’s leadership, COVID-19 and financial burden. That said, infection control has been in the forefront all year and as regulators continue to deliver overwhelming numbers of citations for this, we have lost sight of the quality of life issues our residents are faced with every day. The stories of isolation and loneliness during COVID-19 has hopefully brought the human impact front and center to everyone who follows long-term care policy and finance.
Yes, operators and the federal government have stepped in to provide some touches to improve quality of life such as grants to purchase tablets for video chatting and creating safe areas for outdoor visits. But why did it take a global disaster to make the facilitation of virtual interactions for nursing home residents a top priority? Remember, we have and will continue to make a difference in our resident’s quality of life daily! Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, mask up and stay tuned!