Blog

Take charge of change: Become – and stay – a leader in wellness

Written by Symbria Wellness Director, Joe Alvarado

How tired are you of change? It’s everywhere – in people, in politics, in process, and especially in healthcare. It’s unrelenting. And it will sucker punch you every time if you let it. 

How can senior living leaders beat change? Anticipate it, accept it, and deal with it through strategic planning and effective execution. Take this change for example, Lifecare communities are providing for a rapidly declining population and still must deliver on their commitments to provide a continuum of care. The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) shows that just over 20 percent of adults ages 65 to 69 have poor capacity (physical limitations, poor vision, poor hearing, or probable dementia), while more than 80 percent have poor capacity by age 90.
 

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The Blanket Approach: Best Practices for PDPM Success

Written by Symbria Chief Medical Officer Rajeev Kumar, MD, CMD, FACP

Yet another glorious summer bites the dust, and fall colors are looming around the corner. Similarly, on October 1st, SNFs, and their extended summer fling with RUGs, morph into the uncertainty of PDPM. The falling temperatures, and the absence of RUGs, will surely make SNFs reach for a warm blanket! Best practices can truly be SNFs’ security blanket as they cozy up to PDPM.

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Is there a doctor in the house?

Written by Symbria Chief Medical Officer Rajeev Kumar, MD, FACP

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to seek ways to reduce its costs and improve patient outcomes, the question of whether there will be enough physicians available and willing to practice in post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) is becoming increasingly difficult to answer. All PALTC stakeholders must work together now toward improving technology, promoting risk adjustment that considers the special characteristics of the elderly population, and developing and proposing shared risk models that will improve outcomes.

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Role of the Medical Director in PDPM

Written by Symbria Chief Medical Officer Rajeev Kumar, MD, FACP

On October 1, 2019, PDPM (Patient Driven Payment Model) will change how SNFs (Skilled Nursing Facilities) are reimbursed for care provided to Medicare A recipients. The major change from the existing RUG IV (Resource Utilization Group) system is the shift in focus from therapy to patients’ clinical characteristics and services rendered. It is but a natural transition as SNFs’ role has evolved over time, from rehabilitation to subacute care for medically complex patients.

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Is Activity a Good Form of Medicine?

Written by Dr. Thomas P. Sattler

The idea of activity as medicine still appears a complicated and puzzling question, and yet it shouldn’t be.  Understanding the relationship between activity to become fit and the impact on mortality dates as far back as 1859, when Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution as “an incessant struggle among individuals with different degrees of fitness within a species.” 

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Are you ready for Value-Based Purchasing?

Written by Symbria Chief Medical Officer Rajeev Kumar, MD, FACP

With an average re-hospitalized patient stay costing tens of thousands of dollars, there is little doubt that all healthcare providers strive to avoid rehospitalizations. The impending roll-out of Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) has added even more pressure to this critical metric and now has providers fixated on readmission rates as even average performances will hurt their bottom line. 

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Are you signing the right deal? Get smart tips for evaluating a pharmacy contract!

Consolidation is happening in the pharmacy services world. What does this mean for senior living customers?

That remains to be seen. One way not to be caught unprepared by this kind of activity, and other issues outside your control, is to negotiate a favorable pharmacy services contract from the start. Click here to take advantage of this advice from an insider.

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Proposed Medicare Reimbursement Changes

Last week NASL, and other senior care organizations, submitted concerns about proposed Medicare reimbursement system changes to CMS. They believe proposed changes are neither simple nor a refinement of the current system. Plus, they have concerns about RCS-1 beneficiary protections.

Linda Kolleng, Symbria vice president of Rehab and NASL board member, had the following to say, “There is no doubt that the current reimbursement system needs to be revised. Through my participation in NASL’s RCS-1 workgroup, the comments collected are representative of all party concerns. We are hopeful that CMS will consider these comments and explore further options before creating a final rule”. To review NASL’s comments, please click here.

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The potential impact of a Trump presidency on post-acute and senior-living providers

At 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, I received a brief yet impactful text message from a client that simply asked "now what?" Just hours before, Donald Trump was elected President and the Republican party retained the majority of seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Although these events may have a significant impact on our healthcare system and initiatives such as value-based payments, I think it's prudent to remain focused on what we know won't change. The growing demand for affordable housing and healthcare due to the demographic realities of an aging population will not change. The demand for qualified workers outstripping supply will not change. The increasing burden of chronic disease management will not change. I'm sure you can think of your own realities to add.

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inQ Experience Surveys now partnering with seven LeadingAge state associations

During the past two years, Symbria Analytics has partnered with LeadingAge Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, and Nebraska to allow these state associations to offer a valuable benefit – a Skilled Nursing Resident Power Survey from inQ Experience Surveys at no cost to the member. And now, we've created a new partnership with LeadingAge Iowa that allows Iowa providers to receive the same benefit.

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