the CaringForward.com blog

The CaringForward.com blog is a resource for information and fresh ideas about how skilled nursing facilities can use technology to achieve their mission of care, build census, market more effectively and improve business performance. Here are links to some recent posts.

valuable tools and information resources

Thursday, October 11, 2012, 3:52:57 PM | Monique Ervin, CaringForwardGo to full article
We are seeing a trend in the long-term care industry towards the use of mobile devices as a tool to manage patient care. Many providers are seeking alternatives to the traditional manual processes involved with capturing and accessing patient data. A recent McKnight’s article, Quality Care at Hand, discusses the benefits that tablet solutions offer providers in the long-term care industry. “For us, it's important to leverage technology that allows us to do our jobs more accurately and efficiently. Handheld devices have allowed us to stay on top of our day-to-day responsibilities, while keeping resident care our number one priority,”...
Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 12:59:52 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Lot's of news and analysis this week about Medicare reimbursement penalties for patient readmissions and the implications for SNFs and hospitals. Starting Oct. 1, about 2,000 hospitals will face tiered reimbursement penalties for readmitting too many patients with heart attacks, pneumonia and chronic heart failure. As a reminder of the challenge, we see that the best hospitals readmit 19 percent to 20 percent of heart failure patients within 30 days. As the McKnight's article observes, strong collaborative relationships and communication between SNFs and hospitals are more important than ever. Also, here is some solid analysis regarding variables that can unfairly...
Thursday, August 09, 2012, 6:06:37 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Last week brought good reimbursement news for SNFs after what seemed like years of Medicare bummers: The federal government raises Medicare payments by 1.8 percent in fiscal year 2013. Even AHCA praised CMS for the news: “After years of reimbursement volatility, today’s update to Medicare payments is welcome news to skilled nursing providers. AHCA appreciates CMS’ balanced approach to this year’s Medicare payment system after recognizing the many rounds of government reductions the profession has already endured. Stable Medicare funding will help ensure America’s seniors continue to have access to high quality, post-acute care.” Rejoice! The tides have turned! After...
Friday, June 22, 2012, 6:02:49 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
We recently looked at how the 11.1 percent Medicare cuts from October 2011 affected top-3 U.S. SNF provider Kindred Healthcare. The short answer—probably not in the ways, or nearly to the extent, that you've read about in the press. But what about other major providers? At least among big public SNF companies, the sky seems securely in place. Although all providers cite the challenges posed by the Medicare cuts, have most reported positive financial results and outlooks, some quite remarkable. Let's look at a few other financial filings for public SNF companies*: Ensign Group (103 SNFs, based in Mission Viejo,...
Monday, June 18, 2012, 3:44:53 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Here are some recent items of interest for skilled nursing facilities: A recent article in McKnight's reports that research has found that more focused treatment of common illnesses among dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries could cut costs and lower hospital readmissions. According to a recent McKnight's article, Medicare panel seeks enhanced payments eligibility for the PACE program Patricia Sheehan with Long-Term Living published an interesting article that discusses key considerations when transitioning to an eMAR system. Pamela Tabat's recent article in Long-Term Living discusses the LTPAC HIT Summitt roadmap for 2012-2014.
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:04:05 AM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
The response from skilled nursing facilies to the RMS Web-based bed management functionaility has been very enthusiastic. We have multi-location providers that have replaced their entire bed management tracking process with the integrated RMS bed management capabilities. The bed management functionality of the Referral Management System meets the demands of skilled nursing providers, improving census management by enabling multi-location SNF facility end users and corporate managers to: Seamlessly link bed assignment with the referral management process—assess bed availability for referrals and assign admitted patients to beds, all in one system with one work flow See updated census and bed availability...
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 10:09:29 AM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
We work with SNF prospects everyday that we know struggle to capture meaningful information about census, marketing admissions performance. With the RMS CensusVision™ Executive Dashboards, we've been able to deliver valuable and meaningful information to executives at multi-location skilled nursing facilities. CensusVision includes the following standard executive dashboards available within the Referral Management System: Referral win/loss, which provides a high-level graphical comparison of referrals won and lost during a specified period Admissions by payer, which shows admitted referrals per facility by payer type Decline referrals by payer, which highlights reasons that single, multiple or all facilities are declining referrals Lost...
Wednesday, May 09, 2012, 5:15:27 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Yesterday we posted an update on Greystone Healthcare Management's big gains in Medicare census through improved marketing, referral management and admissions processes, enabled by the Web-based Referral Management System. Today we look at Royal Health Group, a six-SNF provider in Massachusetts that also has documented significant improvements in operations and census performance since partnering with PPS to use the Referral Management System. Royal Health group previously documented how automation and live census trend and analysis reports have improve conversion rates, dropped response times by 80 percent, and driven overall revenue growth. Royal Health Group recently provided some interesting new data:...
Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 11:22:41 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Greystone Healthcare Management has long documented significant returns and performance results from using the Web-based PPS Referral Management System. Within the first year of using the system, Greystone HCM reported the following: 73% faster referral response times, from 30 minutes to eight minutes 5% increase in overall census Referral conversion rates increased to 88% from 56% That was in late 2010. Greystone HCM recently reviewed new performance data and documented continued performance gains, specifically related to increased Medicare market share. This data confirms that automated census management and live, accurate reporting help deliver continuous operational and financial results for SNF...
Monday, April 23, 2012, 11:16:46 PM | Doug Walker, CaringForwardGo to full article
Publicly traded Kindred Healthcare in February reported some bleak financial results for Q4 of 2011, with losses of $72.8 million (compared to a profit of $19.7 million in Q4 of 2011). It revised its 2012 earnings forecast down by $0.30 per share, and announced that it would not renew it lease with Ventas for 64 facilities, including 54 skilled nursing facilities. Kindred associated the results and the changes, at least in large part, to the notorious 11.1% Medicare reimbursement cuts that went into effect October 1, 2011. In the announcement Kindred said that the "initial quarter under new RUGs IV...