What's on LTC's 'to-don't' list?

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Emily Mongan
Emily Mongan

My main takeaway from a key speech Monday is likely something that hit home for others in the audience as well: we should focus less on what we should be doing, and more on what we shouldn't.

That was the advice from Jim Collins, who among other recommendations encouraged attendees to do something they probably hadn't before — create a “to-don't” list. He was the keynote speaker at Monday's general session at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living's annual convention

Personally, I found the idea useful. I think a lot about the things that I need to do, sometimes to the point where I fall into doing things that would probably be wiser not to do. Focusing on the to-dos doesn't always put us in a healthy mindset, and might even end up doing more harm than good if our lists are particularly long.

I carried Collins' advice with me through the sessions this week, and came away with a big “to-don't” for long-term care providers: panic.

The industry is chock full of uncertainties at the moment, we know that. But, if AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson is to be believed, there's a light at the end of the tunnel for providers coming around 2025. In the meantime, there will be challenges, but in my experience as someone prone to nerves challenging situations have never been made any easier by panicking.

That sentiment was echoed Monday during a session a session titled “Managing for a Successful Survey and an Update on the New Survey Process.” Speaker Steve Biondi, RN, NHA, MSN, MS, a consultant with Biondi and Associates, told providers they'd be wise to approach the new survey process similarly to how they handle the current one.

“How do you manage it? It's the same way you've been managing it,” Biondi told the audience. “How should we prepare? The same way [surveyors are] preparing.”

Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA, president and CEO of Harmony Healthcare International, in her session “Reimagine to Reinvent: The Changing Post-Acute Landscape,” also stressed the idea that the regulatory changes facing the sector aren't as horrifying as they may seem, despite the fact that everyone “from CNA to CFO is freaking out.”

“Change is an opportunity to reinvent yourself,” she offered. “Figure out who you serve today. Go back to your basics.”

I attended several sessions at the AHCA/NCAL convention this week. They illustrated a lot of the complicated policies and regulatory challenges the sector is experiencing now, and those coming on the horizon. But despite all of this new information to absorb, not one speaker I listened to this week included “panic” in their advice to providers.

So take a note from Collins — draw up your to-don't list, and don't forget to interject “freak out” at the top of the list. Then, and only then, can you really get to work on those to-dos you've been putting off.

Follow Staff Writer Emily Mongan @emmongan.


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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.