Editor's Desk: An idea whose time has come for skilled nursing

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James M. Berklan, Editor
James M. Berklan, Editor
I don't remember which came first, but I do remember having the same reaction to each: a light slap to my forehead, followed by a slight sideways shake of the head.

“Why I hadn't thought of that?” was the sentiment.

That was precisely my reaction after reading a few installments of the “Life's Little Instruction Book” and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. Perhaps you raced through the straight-shooting pages the first time and realized you also had a few possible sequels at the tip of your tongue.

For a writer, it's worse because you not only think you can come up with some of the same social babble that makes ordinary people rich, but you also have the wherewithal to actually write, publish and cash in on the darn stuff.

The point is there are simple, great ideas out there all the time, just waiting for someone to put his or her name on them, and reap the benefits.

That's where a new long-term care conference comes into play. The 2010 National Skilled Nursing Investment Forum will take place March 8-10, 2010, in San Diego. It's an idea that has been staring us in the face for numerous years.

The conference's theme is “Moving from yesterday to tomorrow: capital & reimbursement strategies.” (Extra emphasis on “capital.”) There is plenty written and said about Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for SNFs. But that typically just comes down to covering (or not covering) the cost of day-to-day operations.

For a profession that works in facilities averaging 33 to 34 years of age, you need to get a viable long-term plan for your physical plant, renovations, etc. Otherwise, it's liable to be “game over” sooner than you think, regardless of staffing or pressure ulcer levels.

Many of you are struggling with functionally obsolete buildings already. And they don't get better by themselves.

The show's hosts will be the able leaders of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry. Their previously established regional leadership symposium will overlap the end of the NSNIF. They're opening you a new door here.

Reimbursement and capital strategies must start working together to revive a part of what ails the long-term care profession, and what could disable you soon. The National Skilled Nursing Investment Forum could be just the chicken soup this patient needs.
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