Trends Impacting Long Term Care
After carrying out an in-depth search, we established that there has been a shortage of caregivers over the past year. This is because the demand for caregivers is higher than the supply. Caregivers are now able to monitor the residents remotely due to recent technological innovations.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AS A TURNING POINT
Medicare Advantage (MA) is set to cover some services provided to seniors. Medical Advantage covers non-skilled in-home care as of 2019, as announced by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Senior living providers might receive compensation from MA for the services they provide to residents. These services include those that the seniors used to pay from their own pockets. Erickson Living and Sunrise Senior Living Company launched its own MA plans. This is meant to cover services provided to residents and help them manage their care generally.
Many senior living providers started their own MA plans in 2019. They will have to work with private insurance companies to provide MA plans. Amedisys is working with MA plans to provide care. It is focused on increasing readmission rates, in return for payment incentives. The CMS payment reform for skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and home health agencies (HHA) will focus on replacing therapy-driven payment with payment for personalized patient needs. The patient-driven payment mode assigns every resident case-mix classification, which propels the resident's daily reimbursement rate.
Over the past year, there has been a shortage of caregivers. This is attributed to the competitive labor markets. The demand for caregivers has been high compared to the supply. Minimum wages have been increased, more retirements than recruitment. Senior living providers will face more pressure in recruiting new caregivers than retaining the workers in 2019. It is more challenging to attract talented workers in the sector, who are passionate and seek to blend the workplace culture. Talent acquisition strategies are required for healthcare units to increase employee retention. Engaging the workforce will help in leveling up customer satisfaction and the quality of care given. Senior caregivers will be forced to share staff and back-office roles due to the shortage of labor. By doing this, the care facilities will be able to focus on providing high-quality services and care.
VARIETY IN PRICING MODELS
The industry is working towards providing seniors with more accessible services and various care options. The three major payment models for general senior care includes tiered pricing, all-inclusive payment, and fee for services. The all-inclusive payment covers meals, monthly rent, transportation, laundry, personal care, security, and recreational activities. Tiered pricing allows services to be chosen depending on the needs of the resident, providing three to four levels of care. The fee for services payment mode enables the resident to pay a flat rate fee for meals and rent, and additional fees for other services.
QUALITY CAREGIVING AT HOME
Home care leads when it comes to senior care market. Home care ensures a smooth transition to new settings for seniors and their families. Caregivers like nurses and doctors are able to monitor their patients remotely. Home care aids, smart-home technology, and on-demand devices allow seniors to live at their homes for long. Seniors prefer receiving care from their homes as it is more personalized and comfortable.
TECHNOLOGY FOR PROVIDING QUALITY IN SENIOR CARE
Technology is used to monitor heart rates, movement, and sleep patterns. This enables the old people and their caregivers to get a depiction that is accurate in regard to how the patients are doing, preventing possible crises. Data of walking patterns acquired from wearable, sensor, and lights can be used to identify UTI symptoms at an early stage. The caregivers can then prescribe the preventive action required. In some senior living communities, the software is installed in iPads to help monitor the seniors indirectly. This promotes the sense of independence to them. Rural caregivers will be required to utilize technology in order to stay afloat. Technology can be applied in telehealth and in providing streamlined staffing models. Amazon's Alexa is being used in elderly homes and resident units.