Is Your SNF Prepared for Mandatory Bundles

Is Your SNF Prepared for Mandatory Bundles?

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The skilled nursing industry has been focusing on using the Patient-Driven Payer Model (PDPM) over the past couple of years. It could be time to consider a different payment option from CMS, Bundled Payments. Bundled payment plans replace hospital fee-for-service billing and motivate companies to cut the cost of care as well as the length of stay and readmissions to hospitals without impacting the quality of healthcare that patients receive. 

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have consistently demonstrated their ability to adapt to change and industry unpredictability. There is no better example of this than how they dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and used telemedicine to improve patient care, safety, and operations. Another sizeable shift is on its way – hospital mandatory payment bundles.

Bundled payments, which have been voluntary up to now, are set to become mandatory for hospitals in 2023, as announced by CMS last year. Hospitals will no longer be able to bill for services on a fee-for-service basis; instead, they will be required to reduce the cost, length of stay, and hospital readmission rates without reducing patient care quality. A fixed fee (target price) will be required for all services surrounding an acute hospitalization over 90 days for all hospitals, whether mandatory bundles are adopted or not. The specifics and timings are unknown at this point. Still, hospitals will want to develop critical partnerships with SNFs that are prepared for mandatory bundles and that support value-based care.

Is Your SNF Prepared for Mandatory Bundles?
Is Your SNF Prepared for Mandatory Bundles?

The rise of mandatory bundles will be a game-changer for skilled nursing providers, providing ample opportunity for those who adapt. Organizations are preparing for these alterations and adapting to them, helping hundreds of innovative, experienced nursing providers adopt a value-based care model by lowering hospital readmissions.

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Here are five pointers to help you get ahead of the curve and prepare your SNF for the impact of mandatory bundles.

  • Create a Clinical Strategy to Care for Higher-Acuity Residents

Create a strategic plan for clinical care for sicker patients with more complex medical needs. Mandatory bundles can put more pressure on hospitals to transfer healthy patients directly to the home. Care coordinators will seek out high-performing qualified facilities that can treat sicker patients—specializing in complicated medical care and investing in equipment or staff, providing training for nurses, and using telemedicine apps like to increase capacity in clinical care. Nursing facilities that are skilled and have round-the-clock all-hour nurses with infusion training may be able to begin new medicines under the supervision of a telehealth physician. Other facilities with respiratory equipment and staff can meet the demands of patients suffering from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other pulmonary ailments. In the words of the doctor. Dickey, “You must prove your worth when hospitals look at strategic partners. To be able to do that, it is imperative to care for more acuity patients.”

  • Develop a Proactive Strategy to Manage Emergency Department Transfers

As hospitals scrutinize every visit to the Emergency Department and ED, the most innovative providers require an emergency department shift method. Suppose a tele hospitalist can talk in a direct conversation with an ED doctor to discuss the underlying issue. In that case, with the expectations of care and the SNF’s capabilities in clinical care, the hospital can offer efficient, cost-effective ED healthcare. “Having that access, within minutes, allows a doctor to triage and take care of patients.

  • Increase Physician Engagement – 24/7
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Increase the level of PHYSICIAN engagement at your facility. Nowadays, skilled nursing providers accept patients with more complex needs, and the model of clinical staffing in the majority of SNFs has stayed the same over the years. “Patients can access 24/7 specialist and hospitalist physicians when in an acute facility. However, when they transfer to an SNF, the SNF could be no physician in the facility. When you go to bed, you notice the issue. This is when we get the most calls to the emergency department. One method to boost doctor engagement without increasing costs is to leverage the power of telemedicine. Tele-hospitalists can bridge the gap between care and home, provide care for patients with higher acuity, and provide treatment in person whenever nurses spot an improvement in their state. Nurses are encouraged to begin with a telehealth appointment anytime they accept an additional resident outside of hours, whenever the patient experiences unintentional changes in their health or the event that a patient falls, particularly one that isn’t causing injury; and when the patient is unwell enough to require an appointment in a hospital. 

  • Partner with Home Health Agencies with Similar Strategies

Partner with a home health office to support your goals. Since hospitals are accountable for an entire 90-day period (which commences at the time of hospitalization), the patient’s smooth transition back home from the SNF is as crucial as their transition to the SNF. To demonstrate value to the hospital’s partner, skilled nursing professionals might consider incorporating home health services into their plan of action. Collaborate with a home-health agency with a solid clinical approach to ensure that the road towards recovery continues after the patient has been discharged.

  • Share Data with your Hospital Partners
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Using data to engage with your hospital partners is crucial. Post-acute use is among the largest cost drivers within the 90 days of care, and facilities must be prepared to be assessed. If you’re doing very well, sharing information with hospitals can be an effective way to strengthen relationships and improve referrals.

With, a HIPAA-compliant telehealth software, you can securely communicate with network partners, patients, and approved patients’ family members in one universal system, in addition to using HIPAA-compliant instant messaging for facility internal communication. It can also be integrated into your EHR to boost your staff’s efficiency. It includes built-in features that simplify communication between staff/collaborators working in different organizations but caring for the same patients. With, users can access real-time data analytics for patient acuity, user engagement reports, partner performance visibility, and more! Self-service signup is also available, allowing new users to set up and begin using the app immediately rather than enduring weeks or months of configuration before they can use it. HIPAA-compliant instant messaging is available via for internal facility use. It has built-in functions that simplify communication between staff/collaborators working in different organizations but caring for the same patients. With’s data analytics for patient acuity, user engagement reports, and partner performance visibility, among other things, users can track real-time data! Self-service signup, which allows new users to get up and running with the app in minutes rather than enduring weeks or months of configuration before using it, is also available.

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