As 2023 progresses, post-acute care leaders should be mindful of the industry trends that are taking place. Keeping an eye on six of these developments will help those in the sector to be better prepared. These include an expansion of home-based care and telehealth services, as well as modifications to regulations.
There has been an Increase in Home-Based Care Services
A McKinsey & Company survey has revealed that over the next five years, up to $265 billion worth of healthcare services could be provided in the home environment, as opposed to traditional healthcare facilities. Based on the responses of physicians caring for Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage patients, this figure is four times greater than the cost of care delivered in the home today.
McKinsey’s piece outlines several reasons home care has seen an increase, including an overall boost in virtual treatment, new technologies that make home care more feasible, and a dramatic rise in investments in digital health.
Vince Baiera, a healthcare expert, predicts that the home health industry will surge from $345 billion in 2022 to $667 billion by 2030. Baiera commented, “Most seniors would rather stay in their homes as they age, so the industry must be ready to equip personnel to manage more acute patients with fewer resources and achieve effectiveness through technology.”
The Utilization of Telehealth Services is Increasing
A study by the U.S. Department and Human Services in 2021 revealed that Medicare visits via telehealth in 2020 had grown by 63x, from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million. This surge in the utilization of health services at home is due to the pandemic.
The report revealed that many Medicare beneficiaries are utilizing telehealth services. In 2020, a third of the visits were to behavioral health specialists, while 8% were to primary care providers, and 3% were to other specialists. This data indicates a growing inclination towards seeking behavioral health care through telehealth.
It is believed that the outbreak of COVID-19 was the impetus for the industry to accept telemedicine as a viable option. By providing care remotely, providers are able to be more efficient and help cut costs, all while reducing the risk of contamination by avoiding physical visits to medical facilities.
Close Monitoring of Care Homes for the Elderly
In the past two years, many residents and staff in nursing homes died due to COVID-19 in the hundreds of thousands. In response, the Biden Administration has issued an action plan to raise the safety and quality of care in these homes. The president’s reforms are specifically intended to guarantee that:
- Nursing homes are staffed with adequate personnel who are well-versed in delivering top-notch care.
- Facilities must provide satisfactory care to be held responsible and promptly improve or face the loss of federal funding.
- People are more aware of the conditions at nursing homes, allowing them to make wiser choices when looking for care.
Penalties have Increased to One Million Dollars
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it will increase its enforcement activities against inadequate care centers. President Biden has asked Congress to amplify the financial penalties for substandard nursing homes to a maximum of $1 million for each occurrence.
A Mandate for a Certain Number of Personnel Needed for Operations
The emergence of the COVID-19 virus has revealed the lack of personnel in nursing homes throughout the United States. To better ensure the security and quality of care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has initiated a research project to set a minimum amount and type of staffing needed to guarantee safe and reliable care. The CMS will be issuing the new regulations come spring, and those nursing homes that fail to comply will be held responsible.
The Lack of Labor Persists
The need for more personnel is anticipated to continue this year. On September 20, 2022, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) conducted a survey of 673 medical practices in the country, and 58% of the respondents indicated that staffing was their most prominent issue entering 2023. One respondent to MGMA mentioned that sourcing dependable help for doctors was a significant job for leaders. They stated that they had spent a great deal of time selecting and preparing job candidates and discovered that some new hires quit within the initial 90 days.
Results of a survey conducted by MGMA Stat on September 6, 2022, among 691 healthcare leaders found that a vast majority (80%) of those polled reported feeling more significant levels of stress or burnout during that year.
The American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL) conducted a study that identified the most significant challenges for nurse leaders: the emotional health of employees and staff retention. Robyn Begley, the AONL CEO, discussed this in an interview for a Nurse.com blog and offered several essentials for handling nurse burnout:
- A secure atmosphere at work
- Attractive recompense
- Finding the balance between job and personal life
- Opportunity to manage their own timetable
- Chance to expand their knowledge
- Involvement in the decision-making process
Personnel deficiencies will persist and impede an organization from accepting more patients. Due to approximately 25% higher staffing ratios in numerous states, organizations must offer a superior work environment and additional fringe benefits to retain their current personnel.
Concentrate on Keeping Customers
Securing and retaining high-quality personnel is essential for organizational success. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2.6 million individuals working in healthcare and social assistance roles resigned between June and October 2022. The Nurse.com 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report ascertained that nearly one-third of the 2,516 nurses surveyed were considering leaving the profession.
The report also uncovered that regular salary increases, the ability to exercise the full scope of nursing practice, and supportive managers were the greatest contributors to job satisfaction.
In order to better retain employees, iHire’s 2022 Talent Retention Report surveyed 2,665 U.S. workers and 578 U.S. employers from 57 industries. The report asked employers what measures they take to improve retention. The highest five responses are the following:
- Nearly 71.2 % of the group issued salary increases.
- In 46.5% of cases, bonuses were given.
- More than 37.1% of employees were provided with meaningful recognition.
- A higher percentage, 34.5% of the workforce, was enabled to have a more adaptable timetable.
- Opportunities for growth and advancement were offered at a rate of 26.4%.
Strengthening of Value-Based Purchasing is Taking Place
The value-based purchasing model has now spread to all 50 states as of January 1, 2023. This system from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pays for health services based on the quality of care, not the number of services given to individuals. It is an ever-growing model of value-based care.
In late 2022, CMS declared its intention to shift entirely to value-based reimbursement by 2030. Coverys, a Boston-based insurance company, conducted a study that revealed that only 20% of Medicare spending was value-based. In order to have 100% of Medicare recipients and almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in accountable care associations by 2030, the providers would be responsible for the quality and total costs for those in their care.
Because value-based purchasing is becoming increasingly influential, organizations must take action to ensure they can offer consistent care and that the patient is content with their result.
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