Mark Parkinson, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO

Q: Last month was the third AHCA/NCAL annual conference with you at the helm, and the healthcare landscape has become increasingly complex. Is there something simple providers can focus on?

A: Know the metrics that matter to your payers and get really, really good at them. That’s it. 

Q: So, focus on quality measures? 

A: Quality has become a reimbursement issue. When I first opened a facility in 1994, there was no reimbursement for quality. People got into it because they were passionate about improving lives, but the more money you spent on aides and food, you didn’t get any more reimbursement. Now, payers have a significant incentive to make sure our residents have good outcomes. Payers will care about whether you can hit the metrics that matter to them, collaborate, and build real partnerships with them.

Q: How will the balancing act between demand and LOS play out?

A: We know that more people will need post-acute care. Payment models are reducing length of stay. If you know the answer to this one question, I think you would know how an individual facility is doing and how the sector’s doing in five to 10 years: Will the volume increase overwhelm the market forces’ decreasing length of stay sufficiently enough so everyone is fine?