AHCA/NCAL names new board leaders, Parkinson says providers' survival depends on quality improvement
Leonard Russ will lead the American Health Care Association's Board of Governors as its new chairman, the organization has announced. The nation's largest long-term care provider association concluded its annual convention and expo yesterday.
Russ is the principal partner of Bayberry Health in New Rochelle, NY, and co-owns Aaron Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation in Rochester, NY. With his background as a small operator — Bayberry and Aaron Manor together have about 220 beds — Russ represents a shift from Neil Pruitt Jr., his predecessor. Pruitt is chairman and CEO of PruittHealth, which is a large Georgia-based chain.
Russ has served on the board for seven years. Lane Bowen, executive vice president and president of Kindred Healthcare's nursing home division, will take Russ's spot as vice-chair, becoming next in line for the chairmanship.
Patricia Giorgio was elected board chairwoman of the National Center for Assisted Living. Giorgio is president and CEO of Evergreen Estates, a company of three assisted living communities in Iowa.
Russ, Giorgio and their respective boards face numerous challenges, and threats to reimbursement rates might be at the top of the list: AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson said reimbursement has been the biggest challenge he has faced during his tenure. He spoke on camera with McKnight's during the recent AHCA/NCAL convention in Phoenix.
Many lawmakers and policy analysts misunderstand the interplay of Medicare and Medicaid in the long-term care realm, and operators face constant threats to their margins, Parkinson noted. He said payment increasingly will be tied to quality outcomes, so improving quality is a matter of survival for long-term care operators.
“If they're not getting better at rehospitalizations, reducing antipsychotics, improving staff satisfaction ... they're not going to make it,” Parkinson said of long-term care providers.