The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 266,000 in April. This was a sharp slowdown from the downwardly revised gain of 770,000 in March, originally reported as 916,000. The consensus estimates for April had been for a gain of 1,000,000. Despite the April increase, job levels remain 8.2 million below the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.
Over the last month, a series of congressional hearings and confirmations shined a spotlight on the seniors housing and care sector as a whole, as well as a number of areas impacting the industry. The hearings followed a tumultuous year of navigating the COVID-19 public health emergencies and subsequent media scrutiny, and covered a wide range of topics, including staffing necessities, private equity investment, quality metrics, home and community-based services (HCBS) funding, reimbursement pressures, telehealth flexibilities, and dual-eligible care coordination.
Unprecedented change in healthcare has led to new expectations from payers, providers, and consumers. The latest NIC Leadership Huddle, titled “Telehealth’s Tipping Point: The New Norm in Care and How to Build for Success” brought together telemedicine experts to cut through the hype. Attendees benefitted from a substantive discussion on building the right-sized telehealth program; selecting relevant telehealth services; addressing staffing issues, and picking the right technology and business models, as the industry moves to kickstart or enhance telehealth programs as part of the new normal.
NIC MAP Vision clients with access to NIC MAP® Data attended a webinar in mid-April on key seniors housing data trends during the first quarter of 2021. Findings reflected the impact of COVID-19 across the seniors housing and care sector and were presented by NIC’s research team. Key takeaways included the following: