If you decide that the LTC industry is the direction of your future career, then knowing what challenges and opportunities lie ahead is key to obtaining a firm hold and idea of what you want your future to look like. The desire to help and change lives through innovative and new methods will drive you to accomplish much in your profession.
Continually learning and increasing your health care expertise will help you stay current with changes occurring on a constant basis in the industry. Knowledgeable and loving staff equals happy and healthy customers and patrons.
In long-term care, you must take a personal interest in wanting to effect change, and by choosing this as a profession, you have already taken that step. As an administrator, you are responsible for improving people’s lives through your day-to-day management.
The management style you use has a direct impact on employees, vendors, residents, and their family members. “With leadership, the manager can manage the change. Without leadership, change manages the manager” (Pratt, 2016). Just think about some of the challenges and opportunities you have faced in your day-to-day life. How have these challenges shaped who you are?
The same impact can be associated with management in long-term care; the challenges and opportunities you provide will shape your facility.
It is estimated that just a few short years ago in 2014 there were 46.2 million people in the United States aged 65 and older. If this statistic is not staggering enough, this number is expected to grow to 98.2 million by 2060 (Administration on Aging, n.d.).
Can you imagine the impact long term-care will have when over a quarter of our population are senior citizens? Talk about job security in the long-term care industry! You may ask, why will we see such a tremendous growth over the next several decades? For starters, think about how old you will be in 2060. That’s right, you’ll probably be a senior citizen and your peers will be in the same situation. The good news is that there are three main factors that will allow you and your friends to potentially make it to 2060.
First, people are generally living longer. Though we haven′t seen a major increase in the life expectancy and our birth rate is decreasing, people on average are living longer.
Second, as technology in medicine continues to advance so will the overall population health. Just think about it, 30 years ago it was cool to bake in the sun with baby oil, now we know that is not the best choice and can make changes to stay healthier later in life.
Third, the advances in medicine that humans make prevents or delays the onset of many chronic conditions. If we know how a chronic condition such as type II diabetes occurs, we can work to focus on prevention.
Financing The importance of financing in long-term care cannot be understated. Perhaps the most significant trend in long-term care is Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS′s) movement away from the way they have reimbursed nursing facilities (Larson, 2018).
Financing is sure to not only exist in the future of long-term care but increase significantly. The Wall-Street Journal recently reported that the United States spends more per capita on healthcare than any other developed nation.
Projections indicate that the United States will soon spend almost 20% of its gross domestic product on healthcare (Walker, 2018). More money doesn’t necessarily mean better care; therefore, appropriate allocation of funding is an essential consideration for future forecasting of healthcare. Why is this? Here are just two reasons to point out.
Employee-sponsored insurance is on the decrease. Employers don’t collaborate on health insurance because they are focused on their own businesses (Blumenthal, 2017). Even with the Affordable care act in place, plans have continued to increase in price with employers paying less of the overall cost. This leads to an overall decline in coverage and an increase in employee spending. Public payers are struggling.
Medicare dipped into its trust recently and analysts are forecasting that Medicare could end up reducing its payout rates. Just think of offering a physician or hospital less to do the same amount of work. The other concern is that Medicaid spending is among the biggest expenditures for many states (Calmus, 2013) and will continue to rise as healthcare costs increase.
Quality & Outcome Expectations
Quality measures and care outcomes are huge hot buttons in long-term care, and these areas will only get hotter. Long-term care service providers are typically concerned with: How to achieve a five-star CMS rating Establishing and maintaining a good reputation to attract potential customers Obtaining more referrals from hospitals (increase in Medicare census ＝ more money) Avoiding audits and passing surveys with little or no deficiencies Increasing quality of care provided to residents and improving reimbursement Political and Social Change Historically, the United States has placed a high priority on taking care of seniors when they reach retirement age.
In 1935, the Social Security Act was approved, and allows seniors receive a pension in their old age. Currently however, the United States is not proactively doing anything politically of note to prepare for the influx of seniors that are now coming into the long-term care industry.
Instead, they are viewed as a burden to our healthcare system. This needs to change dramatically and can be accomplished by advocacy groups and lobbying efforts. Take for example the current proposal from the CMS that changes the rules for emergency preparedness. They claim that this effort will balance safety and quality while providing a less regulatory strain on long-term care providers.
Advocates are concerned, however, that this proposal will make providers less ready when disaster strikes, thereby increasing the risk to residents. Read about this story here: (This is a required piece of reading for you in order to see a current, real-world example of political and social change in action.
After reading the article, you should get a sense of the struggle between a regulatory agency pulling against what advocates want.) CMS Proposes Rollback of Emergency Preparedness Rules (868 words) http://theconsumervoice.org/news/detail/news_list/cms-proposes-rollback-of-emergency-preparedness-rules (Links to an external site.)
Perhaps the most exciting and positive changes that are occurring in long-term care are the advances in technology. With technology advancing so rapidly in today’s world, the question that long-term care providers should ask is, “How can my organization incorporate technology to improve the quality of care and elevate my resident’s lifestyle?” Answers to this question could relate to staff scheduling, call systems, interactive activities, etc.
The possibilities are truly endless. For example, It′s Never Too Late (iN2L) is a company on the cutting edge of utilizing technology in long-term care. They see groundbreaking changes in the way that seniors experience life – especially among those residents with mobility issues and with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Watch the following video about iN2L and how technology has dramatically improved the quality of life at a long-term care community. iN2L Memory Care at Front Porch (5:50 min) iN2L Memory Care at Front Porch (Links to an external site.) iN2L Memory Care at Front Porch Anticipated Healthcare Policy and Procedural Change There are many policy and procedural changes taking place now in addition to the financing reform we already talked about. These changes are being championed by both industry leaders and uninvolved lawmakers. For example, the arbitration process has been a presence in health care for years to settle disputes between providers and consumers. This process has been called into question by CMS and as a result long-term care advocacy groups like the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCANCAL) are fighting to keep arbitration in place in long-term care (ACHANCAL, n.d.).
In summary, LTC managers must act as change agents for the good of the overall system. One person putting in a minimum effort will not yield change and you must be ready to embrace the changes that come with long-term care.
One must be engaged in advocacy groups, community organizations, and legislation to influence the direction of this ever-changing industry. Being a change agent will help you lead your organization into the future. What will it look like?
Prompt: Should politics and social change play a role in LTC facility management? Why or why not? Explain your answer. For your citation, you might use articles that show examples of good balance or bad balance. You can also find articles from experts that suggest what the balance should be.
assignment must have: -200+ words -2 APA citations
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