Is it time to breathe yet? Good question. We have all been adjusting to this “new normal.” It’s not so new and it’s definitely not very normal.

Skilled Nursing Facility providers have been put through the wringer in the past 2+ months at a multitude of levels. Needless to say, many issues have emerged above and beyond the normal operational challenges.

Here’s a list of new priorities related to the pandemic:

Covid-19 Testing – Great insight is provided here by our friends at Skilled Nursing News.

Safely Allowing Visitors – Our good friends at NYSHFA /NYSCAL cover this nicely in the attached FAQ

Rebuilding Lost Census – The combination of Covid-19 related deaths and lack of surgical admissions have left many SNFs with an alarming number of empty beds. Simply stated, low census equals lost revenue.

Replenishing Staff & Providing Respite for Overworked Staff – The pandemic has made already tenuous staffing situations even more challenging. The best of the best has given their all and they will need some respite.

PPE Supply – Providers have spent valuable resources trying to find adequate supplies at reasonable prices. This is an area where federal and state government needs to be helpful.

Implementing Telehealth – “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Leveraging telehealth can provide more access to care, keep traffic out of the facilities, and enhance quality. It’s time to do more with telehealth, not less.

Skilled Nursing Facility owners & operators now have these challenges to address in addition to the normal ones. Reimbursement, regulatory, and staffing challenges won’t be going anywhere. I don’t think even the prognosticators want to predict what the remainder of 2020 will bring. If there’s one bright note, maybe the rest of the world has gained an appreciation for nursing homes and the care they provide. After all, our most vulnerable seniors are at a great deal of risk and need our protection.

About the Author: Matt McGarvey is VP of Business Development for Language Fundamentals. Matt holds a BS in Marketing from Le Moyne College and an MBA in Health Systems Administration from Union Graduate College.