We hate to say we told you so, but ...

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James M. Berklan
James M. Berklan

Some people can be so hardheaded (this writer included) that sometimes you have to tell them something twice before they take serious notice. Or four times … or five …

We're probably all wired that way to some degree. If you take things too much at face value, you're liable to be answering scam emails from Nigeria or Siberia until your bank account is dry. But by the same token, if you're too skeptical or prone to procrastination, you're liable to lose out too.

So take it to heart when we repeatedly report that long-term care is going to be reimbursed differently in the not-too-distant future. Put off planning for it at your own peril.

The government has pushed it, the associations have studied up on it and we've reported, blogged and webcasted on it repeatedly. It's past the time when you should be taking notes in earnest.

The most recent proof came a few days ago, when our Super Tuesday webcast packed them in to hear expert Chris Murphy of BKD headline “The Post-Acute Payment Game is Changing: Is Your Team Ready?” (A summary is here, and the webcast can be heard in its entirety here — no charge.)

Murphy, a CPA and partner at BKD, told it like it is, saying providers have reason to be worried if they aren't paying close attention and evolving. (“And I'm not just saying that because I'm a bean counter,” he quipped.)

Advanced payment models will require more advanced data, and that won't get collected by chance. That means you need to learn how to measure your performance better than ever before, or hire somebody who knows how to help do it.

You also have to be more of a team player. Now's not the time to be shy or non-communicative. Your very funding lifeblood depends on it.

The coming shake-up has led to “skilled nervouses,” an unintended twist of the tongue by Murphy, who joked he might have coined a new phrase. Indeed. Whether it was intended or just a marvelous Freudian slip, skilled nursing facilities that don't prepare have every right to be nervous.

In fact, there are probably a load of skilled nervouses out there — though not nearly as many as there should be.

James M. Berklan is McKnight's Editor. Follow him @JimBerklan.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.