Most of us are not going to miss 2020. Few years have packed such a nasty wallop.
Of course, a new year brings some headaches of its own. Let me spare you a lot of unnecessary reading and worry, while offering some advice about the road ahead.
First, let’s dispense with the obvious stuff ahead. Most notably, the long-term care field will continue to grapple with COVID-19. Sadly, more residents and staff will become sick and will die. Many operators will be driven to the fiscal brink, as the toll of lower occupancy and higher costs continues. Vaccines will help, but they won’t restore reality to its former state.
Then there are the other no-brainers: Tech’s role will certainly expand, staffing will remain problematic, PDPM will play out — and value-driven hosannas will continue. Put another way, developments already in play will march on.
As for the unfolding Biden presidency, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect there as well. On the one hand, it’s likely the new administration will be more hands-on when it comes to the pandemic. That will probably be most apparent in vaccine and PPE supply chain management.
On the other hand, we know from experience that whenever a Democrat moves into the White House, new rules and regulations tend to tag along for the ride. We also know that, as a result, more red tape and greater industry oversight are all but certain.
One hardly needs a crystal ball to unearth these nuggets. A set of eyeballs and a bit of common sense will probably suffice.
Which brings me to my previously promised advice. And here it is: Don’t put a whole lot of stock in what the litany of prognosticators will have to say. If they were so clairvoyant, why didn’t they warn us about COVID-19’s imminent destruction at about this time last year?
So how should you, long-term care operator, prepare for a better 2021 when all is said and done? Simply try to do the best you are capable of doing, every single day. It sounds simple, but it’s not easy. And in a world where uncertainty rules, effort is one of the few things you’ll actually be able to control this year.