Short-term care finds role fuzzy with regards to skilled nursing facilities

The shifting tectonic plates in the skilled nursing landscape include a focus on value and a new payment system that puts the focus on medically complex patients and specialties. As providers try to adapt, some have chosen to go all in on a model of care that targets short-stay patients, flying in the face of skilled nursing’s image as a place for long-term care.

How well they’ll succeed remains to be seen.

Transitional Care Management, which is based in Lisle, Ill., and has two skilled nursing locations in the state, is optimistic. According to Skilled Nursing News, the post-acute services provider focuses on short-stay patients and shifting them to the next level of care as quickly as possible. The Arlington Heights, Ill., location’s average length of stay is two weeks, and Transitional Care has three new projects confirmed for Illinois. Unsurprisingly, its leadership sees transitional care as a key part of the landscape.

“I think that’s the bright future for skilled nursing,” Charles Ross, chief strategy officer for Transitional Care, told Skilled Nursing News. “I think it will kind of splinter; I think there will always be a need for traditional skilled nursing … but so many other levels of care have kind of eaten into that traditional space. Assisted living is now a great option for people who might one day in the past have been in skilled nursing … I do think the future is in models like ours.”

Donna Sroczynski, the president of operations at Chicago-based Symphony Post Acute Network, also believes that long-term care will not go away. Symphony has a mix of long-term and short-term patients, with some facilities heavily focused on long-term care and others tailored to short-stay patients. Though it has a medical resort model aimed at keeping consumers happy, it’s been feeling the pinch of the changing forces from referral partners.

“There’s just constant pressure to lower the length of stay,” Sroczynski told SNN. “We’ve got some partners that require less than 16-day length of stay.”

Read the full story at Skilled Nursing News.

Topics: Risk Management , Uncategorized