The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many industries including long-term care providers. As infection numbers have started to stabilize skilled, nursing providers should begin to strategize on how they will adapt to the new economic conditions. McKnight’s discusses how nursing home providers can re-structure their facilities and operations for a post-pandemic world.
Census numbers reached an all-time low in December 2020 for many skilled nursing facilities across the country. Since then vaccinations have begun and the rates of infection and deaths have stabilized. However, census numbers still remain low. Erin Shvetzoff Hennessey, CEO and principal for Minnesota-based consulting firm Health Dimensions Group claims that the skilled nursing facility “has seen a 10% to 15% decline in census which is a lot in a low margin business.”
Hennessey laid out certain steps that skilled nursing home providers can follow to adjust their business for the upcoming months. She recommended operators should develop new expense profiles based on their current census numbers. Many factors have contributed to the current state of long-term care facilities which includes lower number of beds and smaller staff sizes. These should all be taken into account when creating the new expense profile including any debt or pending lease payments.
It is also suggested that operators conduct a market research study and consider different models of providing care depending on the need and demand of the market. This can include expanding services to provide assisted or independent living or include on-site services such as memory care.
A great strategy should include an accurate model and projection numbers with an attainable end goal.