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.
Unlike home health and other post-acute sectors, skilled nursing operators and hospitals have not entered into many joint venture partnerships. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, may be the wakeup call hospitals need to consider more integrated relationships that strengthen alignment. In the latest NIC Leadership Huddle, titled “Skilled Nursing Integration: Will COVID be the Catalyst for Tighter Hospital Partnerships?” health system executives got together to discuss joint ventures with skilled nursing partners. Andre Maksimow, senior vice president, Kaufman Hall, began the discussion by illustrating how a Kaufman Hall client’s discharge pattern has changed over the pandemic. The Northeastern health system, which typically discharges 22,000 Medicare and Medicare Advantage patients annually, sent far fewer patients to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) last year. “It’s a two-order effect, a compound issue,” he explained, pointing out that, on one hand, there was “less volume coming out of the hospital,” and on the other, “less going to skilled nursing versus home health.” Skilled nursing providers in the area are currently seeing a 25% reduction in overall discharges.
Facilitating new connections is a part of NIC’s mission. For many, that means networking at NIC events, such as the upcoming 2021 NIC Fall Conference, or engaging in one of NIC’s many virtual events, such as the highly popular NIC Leadership Huddle series, for live online discussions. For NIC Co-founder & Strategic Advisor Bob Kramer, it’s bigger than that. “When I stepped down as NIC CEO a few years ago, part of my new role, in addition to advising NIC, was to become a scout and an ambassador, identifying and reaching out to potential new partners for seniors housing and care,” Kramer explained. “I was tasked with educating and inspiring prospective new partners and collaborators to understand the potential of working with seniors housing and care – and to help our traditional audiences prepare and plan for the near future.”
The pandemic has thrust healthcare for seniors into the spotlight. The latest NIC Leadership Huddle event, titled, “Value-Based Care: What's in It for Me?” explored how operators and their partners are navigating what is likely to become a new normal: bringing healthcare to seniors where they live. The webinar and discussion explored the argument that–with or without COVID-19–every seniors housing organization must understand how providing access to healthcare services is now a part of their value proposition for both residents and investors.