Guest columns & blogs | McKnight's Long Term Care News

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Guest Columns

Telehealth is a linchpin to SNF success

Telehealth Awareness Week (September 19–25) is a time to highlight and reinforce the critical role of telehealth.  Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technology to deliver care and health services remotely, and it plays an increasingly important role in our healthcare ecosystem. I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on five simple yet significant…

Life safety alert: Storage is prohibited in the means of egress

As a Life Safety Consultant working directly with LTC providers around the country as well as with many state healthcare associations, I need to start this piece by being blunt and will get straight to the point.   You cannot use the means of egress (hallways, exit paths and stairwells) in your facility to store the…

Approaching the finish line

I went to a wedding this month.   Let me rephrase that: I went to a wedding that was a three-day, in-person, 125-attendees, sitting-at-tables-for-eight, extravaganza with family I haven’t seen in nearly two years. And I didn’t  worry. Why? Because the invitation said, “We kindly request that all guests in attendance be fully  vaccinated against COVID. If…

When celebrity obscures suffering

There is a poignant scene in the first episode of Spike Lee’s “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021½” on HBO in which New York Assembly Member Ron Kim breaks down recounting the efforts of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, to bully him into silence over nursing home deaths from COVID-19.   The scale of those deaths was…

The delta variant and long-term care: Key liability and risk considerations

Over the course of 2020, it became apparent that long-term care facilities needed to be thoroughly prepared for unexpected health or safety issues. Facilities around the nation learned that it is vital to develop, implement and frequently update their policies and procedures to navigate future emergencies. Looking ahead, attention to these updates will prove vital…
Stefanie Doyle

Nursing home vaccine requirements are coming. What happens next?

The new federal vaccine mandate for nursing home staff, expected to be issued later this month, will apply to nearly 15,000 nursing home facilities, which employ approximately 1.6 million workers and serve approximately 1.3 million residents.  The new policy is designed to address vaccine hesitancy among nursing home staff and decrease the number of outbreaks…

Life after COVID: Remote patient monitoring will be even more critical

At its height, COVID-19 quite literally pushed the healthcare industry to its limits. Its impacts have been undeniably grim, with executives, physicians, nurses and patients all being affected by its influence. But there is some optimism to be found.  I not only believe the chaos of this past year has opened our eyes to the…

The impact of supervisor support on the job satisfaction of immigrant and minority LTC workers

The long-term care workforce is growing increasingly diverse. Immigrant and minority workers make up a significant proportion of the long-term care workforce and may be influential in filling these positions in the future. Given the growing diversity of the long-term care workforce, it is both timely and pertinent to examine how job satisfaction may be…

Words matter more than ever

One of my favorite quotes is from the author of “Kitchen Table Wisdom.” Rachel Naomi Remen often writes about storytelling as a vital process to the sharing of knowledge and to gain renewal.  “Everybody has a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories,” she shared. “We do…

Nobody won yet

King Kong and Godzilla faced off above the city skyline.  With his teeth, Godzilla rips a hunk from the skyscraper, flinging it in Kong’s direction. Kong bats it away, sending it spinning down onto the city streets below where mere humans, trapped in the drama, scurry helplessly.  It’s been like that. Keeping up with the…

Private equity in the crosshairs

Private equity investors in nursing homes should brace and prepare for an active near-term enforcement environment. Congressional skepticism of private equity involvement in healthcare, developments in False Claims Act cases and Department of Justice priorities all point towards increasing scrutiny of private equity investment in skilled nursing facilities.  Firms with investments in this area can…

Requiring the jab or not – Mandatory employee vaccination policies and residential healthcare facilities

To vax or not to vax, that is the question. Or more precisely, if you’re an employer, to mandate employee vaccination or not. In a time when discussions of vaccinations are polarized, politicized and hotly debated, determining the best course of action is akin to navigating a minefield. This decision is even more challenging for…

Mandatory COVID -19 vaccination: Not such a bad idea anymore?

Well, what a month it has been. Just when we thought COVID-19 would get better this summer, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are finding they may have to take more aggressive precautions against the delta variant and other potential variants that could proliferate come fall and winter.   While we have discussed vaccine mandates with…

Vaccination nation

Last week an insurance adjuster came over to scope out some storm damage.   Anyone who enters my home must be vaccinated or wear a mask (I keep clean masks at the front door. I’m nice like that). If it’s someone I don’t know, I ask their vaccination status before they enter. This insurance adjuster responded,…

Long gone is the nursing home

What do post-acute care centers look like in a post-pandemic world? I have been in post-acute healthcare since 1995, when I first operated a traditional “nursing home.” Back then, they were typically smaller places with very little natural light and nearly all long-term residents. So much has shifted since then.  Hospitals need us to take…
Kevin Lawrence

Nursing home vaccine mandates: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Many people might not fully realize what long-term care operators are facing when it comes to whether to require COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment. Here’s a breakdown in simple terms. First, you can require staff be vaccinated, lose even more staff, lower occupancy to meet staffing requirements, but have more liability protection. Or…

True grit: Not just about cowboys

When a parent passes, people naturally look for their traits within their children. The other day the comment was made to me that I had the same grit as my father. My father was an amazing man, and grit was a descriptor I would use for him.  Yet, I associated grit with pure stubbornness. No…

People management – The new paradigm

Most owner/operators see high turnover and shortage of workers as the top challenges senior healthcare providers face today, a higher priority than census, reimbursement and regulatory issues.  Many providers have tried band-aid strategies to address this huge challenge, including flex schedules, technology, various bonus programs, ad infinitum! I am sure each provider can add to…

Increase your occupancy now

Preparing for a presentation is always fun for me, especially when it involves original research. In anticipation of Reimbur$ement-Con, and my session “The Unexpected Nemesis,” we took a deep dive into the relationship of the Five-Star Quality Rating System with occupancy and payer mix.  SPOILER ALERT: Regardless of where you operate, the overall Five-Star rating…
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