Addressing hospital concerns

Virginia Feldman, M.D., President & CEO of Nexus Health Resources
Virginia Feldman, M.D., President & CEO of Nexus Health Resources

As providers consolidate their referral partners, a myriad of skilled nursing facilities are vying for a single hospitals' attention. For the SNF seeking to win a hospital's partnership, it's critical to present metrics that truly distinguish your organization.

But how? Skilled nursing facilities eager to distinguish themselves from competitors should take note: Many hospital leadership teams hold preconceived notions about SNFs. And if you can effectively rebut these notions, you'll quickly stand out among your peers.

Here are three common misconceptions your messaging and metrics should be refuting:

  1. SNFs do not understand hospital's need for quick responses. Many hospital ERs have a goal to route a patient within six hours from when they walk through the door. But if a patient enters the ER from an SNF without key information, and the SNF is not able to respond in a timely fashion, the patient may be admitted to the hospital for an extended stay. To respond to this concern, provide examples of the information that your SNFs sends about the patient if they do return to the ER. Also, show metrics regarding staff availability, especially during night and weekend shifts, as hospitals will assume your staff will be limited during these times.
  2. SNFs do not have the clinical staff to address complex conditions. Too often, hospital execs perceive SNFs as long-stay facilities with minimal ability to treat complex conditions like vent care or advanced wounds. Disprove this misconception by showcasing the credentials and certifications of your full-time staff or provide case examples of complex residents that your facility has successfully treated. And if you have a rigorous internal training program, demonstrate its depth — and how many members of your team have completed the training.
  3. Twenty-five percent of SNFs will close in the near future. Hospital leadership frequently views SNFs as institutions in turmoil, squeezed by CMS and are going to struggle over the next five years. True, there are challenges ahead — like mandatory bundled payments for certain surgeries. But these challenges aren't insurmountable. SNFs have long demonstrated resilience and a proven ability to adapt to change. To prove your own resilience, consider sharing some of your facility's financial information to demonstrate how your facility has adapted and thrived over the last five to 10 years. And to further boost confidence, consider creating a “service roadmap” that highlights your recent and future plans for expanding your advanced clinical capabilities.

Often, a hospital's hesitance to partner with an SNF is grounded in assumptions and flawed perceptions. To stand out, take these three steps to correct misinformation — and showcase just how capable you are.

Virginia Feldman, M.D., is the president and CEO of Nexus Health Resources

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