Q: What impact is the pandemic having on long-term care?

A:This is a really good defining moment for long-term care, and for rehab. If our model has to change, it has to change. People don’t get better without rehab. We have to remember that. 

Q: What do you think about telemedicine?

A:There’s a necessity to human touch. We learn about it in nursing school. I mourn that. I understand the reality of not being able to do that. I hope we can get back to the time we can touch somebody and say, “I’m here to help you,” versus [through] a TV screen. 

Q: Your thoughts on the Patient Driven Payment Model?

A:PDPM has rewarded nursing homes for the nursing care. Having RUGS overshadowed what nursing did for a long, long time. People paid too much attention to the minutes and forgot about the basic nursing care that occurred every day, seven days a week. 

Q: How should facilities approach this new wave of the pandemic?

A:Honestly, I think this is a wonderful practice run for the flu. I believe this was a wake-up call to say we should wear masks, wash our hands, take care of each other, be respectful of our distance, and we can stop a lot of this.