Skilled Nursing Facilities faced arguably their most challenging year in history in 2020. Even though the calendar has turned, significant challenges remain.  While there is hope thanks to vaccination success stories, how major issues play out will determine the path to recovery for SNFs around the country.

  • New Leadership at CMS- Chiquita Brooks-LaSure is the nominee to be the next leader of CMS. She would be accepting the post at a time where many SNFs are operating at a crisis level, therefore leadership & transparency are needed.
  • A Different Approach from the White House – It appears that The Biden Administration will be taking a more “hands-on” approach than the Trump Administration. SNFs can expect more oversight in terms of surveys, fines for non-compliance, and the federal government providing more requirements in terms of staffing levels.
  • Rebuilding Census – Appears to be tied to 3 issues – 1. Visitation 2. Return of Elective Surgeries 3. Consumer Confidence
  • Visitation – When will visitation return?  It is the question we all are asking. Many SNF industry experts predict that plummeting SNF census levels won’t return until visitation does.   Governor Parkinson remains hopeful that even if the SNF industry census improves steadily as the year goes on, the industry will recover.
  • PDPM – As SNF owners & operators emerge from the depths of the pandemic, the impact of PDPM will become more apparent. SNFs have been hyper-focused on Covid-related PDPM issues such as isolation, non-therapy ancillaries, and the SLP component, capturing reimbursement will again become a priority. They will need to focus on capturing all reimbursement opportunities within PDPM. In states who are planning on using PDPM for Medicaid Case Mix reimbursement, SNFs will have to prepare for even more transition.

While we all hope that life returns to normal during 2021, feeling a sense of progress will be a great start.  We’d love to hear your comments!