By Sharon N. Fisher (<-SNF!)
Those within the nursing home community “bubble” understand that skilled nursing facilities are delivering the best care under these extreme circumstances just as their acute care partners are doing.
So why the villanization or sensationalized headlines instead of first seeking to understand facts over fiction? Historically SNFs have had a tough public image. Just like in any industry, a few bad actors can tarnish the reputation for all and create some misconceptions about the quality of care that can be expected from our nursing homes.
Nursing Home Myth Busting
Perhaps a few facts may be helpful.
Myth: Nursing homes are not monitored or regulated at the same level as their acute care partners.
Response: Skilled Nursing Facilities are the 2nd highest federally regulated industry outside of nuclear power plants. There is a tremendous number of regulatory requirements with annual inspections or “surveys” to ensure quality of care is being delivered and if not, penalties and fines are delivered.
Myth: Nursing homes lag in usage of innovation such as Telehealth
Response: Access to Telehealth was previously not a financial option due to zero reimbursement. Now through a waiver that is currently temporary, remote patient monitoring is possible and is keeping patients where they want to be.
Myth: Nursing homes are where people go to die.
Response: SNFs rehabilitate elderly patients very effectively – goal setting with the patient to return home or back to the community occurs every day.
“I think it’s a common misconception that people just go into a nursing home or long-term care facility to live their last days. Our staff have a lot to give to the residents, and the residents have a lot to give in return. It is a beautiful relationship that I have been blessed to see every day.”
Melissa Green, RN, MSHA, Partner & Chief Clinical Officer, Trio Healthcare LLC
#SNFStrong – Shared Outrage Turns to Action
We quickly learned that our outrage at the media coverage of skilled nursing was equally shared and reviled across the SNF industry and its strategic partners. Outrage turned to action and we turned the cameras on to capture the deeply felt and personal connections that these leaders have to the skilled nursing profession. For each video, we asked two simple questions:
- Why are you an advocate for skilled nursing?
- What would you like others outside the industry to know about skilled nursing?
Our SNF allies answered by telling their own stories that educate the general public on the joys and challenges of skilled nursing care, and advocate for the resources that SNFs deserve and need. Follow these efforts via the hashtag #SNFStrong.
What Our SNF Allies Want You to Know about Nursing Homes
“What people don’t know is that our clients and friends are spending fortunes in money and time to keep their staff and residents safe, and at the same time, have gone through an incredible process of innovation and pushing forward in what it means to be a nursing home in the time of COVID.”
Scott Taylor, CEO
“Some people think that a nursing home is a dark place. Well obviously you haven’t been to the nursing homes that we know. In my job, I’m at nursing homes every week, and it just amazes me how lively they are, how much light there is there.”
Eric Gillis, VP, Portfolio Management
“Once somebody comes to live in one of our facilities, they are welcomed into the community, and oftentimes they thrive there. Oftentimes they are able to do things and they are empowered to be themselves in a way they haven’t been able to for a long time, and we see their personalities blossom.”
Ray Thivierge, Chief Strategy Officer
“The more people understand what’s happening within those walls, I think the more comfortable they’ll be and realize these are our hospital partners.”
Margie Hackett, RN, Transition Guide Nurse,
Suburban Hospital, A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine
“The way that we have been able to partner is testament to how hard people are working to try and stay agile, to try to stay flexible, and resilient, and yet at the same time be able to plan, when this whole virus is a moving target.”
Dr. Meena Seshamani
VP of Clinical Care Transformation
“We employ a large range of people, and we employ a lot of moms who may not even see their own families as much as they see the residents. There’s a lot of love there, and there’s a lot of caring.”
Melissa Green, RN, MSHA
Partner & Chief Clinical Officer
Trio Healthcare LLC
“The staff that provides care to the residents and patients in these facilities are as much heroes as the hospital staff, and we simply haven’t been prioritized.”
CEO, SABRA Health Care REIT, Inc.
“Skilled nursing facilities are not hospitals, they don’t have the equipment that hospitals have. Even the environment of the rooms – the type of ventilation systems that are required in hospitals are not required in skilled nursing facilities, nor our homes.”
Dr. Michele Bellantoni
Clinical Director of Geriatric Medicine,
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine SNF Collaborative
Are you #SNFStrong?
Are you a nursing home advocate? Join us on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn where we share good news and education related to nursing home communities. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SNFStrong!
Sharon N. Fisher
Chief Development Officer
Sharon Fisher is an accomplished senior healthcare executive who specializes in complex strategic partnerships which include aligning Health Systems, ACO’s and Health Plans with Post-Acute providers in preparation for alternative payment models. Prior to joining PointRight, Sharon led the strategy for national post-acute organizations to disrupt the traditional approach to skilled nursing care by focusing on transitional and chronic care models to compliment evolving payment reform strategies. More