JCH Consulting Group offers the tips and tricks you need to succeed.
By Pam McDonald
In his role as Senior Vice President of JCH Consulting Group, a full service real estate brokerage focused solely on the long-term care industry and a Senior Housing Forum partner, Shep Roylance has acquired in depth knowledge on how to operate a skilled nursing facility (SNF) successfully.
Shep points out that in the transition period, a new operator may experience fluctuations in profit and productivity. However, Shep notes, “Whether you are a new operator or one looking for ways to elevate your skilled nursing facility, operating a profitable SNF is no mystery.
“Simply stated,” Shep says, “it depends on constant marketing efforts, reliable staff, and compliance with state regulations.” He offers the following recommendations to maximize profitability of your skilled nursing facility.
Licensing and Surveys
From the moment you buy a skilled nursing facility, know what documentation you need to stay in compliance. Most importantly, hire qualified people to keep Medicare and Medicaid certifications and licenses in good standing.
Raise Your CMS Star Rating with Patient Care
The CMS star rating, which is a five-star rating system, is extremely important to attract Medicare patients. Most profitable SNFs for sale rate on the higher end with 4 to 5 stars, which is where your SNF should always be.
One of the critical components to a high star rating is the amount of nursing hours a patient receives. At a minimum, about 3.4 hours per day should be spent per patient. The higher you go above this, the better your rating. This means the more money you spend on staffing, the higher star rating your facility should receive.
Build Connections with Nearby Hospital Staff to Increase Census
Maintaining close relationships with doctors and discharge planners at local hospitals is of utmost importance. Your relationships with these people become invaluable as they act as a feeder source for new patients, referring most of their patients to your skilled nursing facility.
Strive for a high percentage of Medicare patients, anywhere between 25 to 40 percent and fill as many beds as possible. This will increase the value of your skilled nursing or healthcare facility when the time comes to sell.
Spend Money to Make Money
Profitable skilled nursing facilities also have a high Medicaid rate (also known as Medi-Cal in California). This rate is achieved through cost reports. Showing the department of health that you spend money on labor and other ancillary items will help to drive this rate up.
Because a facility’s Medi-Cal rate is derived from cost reports from two or three years ago, it is crucial that you start as soon as you can.
Elevate the Features of Your SNF
A clean, modernized and technologically updated physical plant attracts patients. Most profitable SNFs carry a state-of-the-art physical therapy room and a team of exceptional physical therapists. Some feature a sub-acute unit or a pediatric unit. These additional units boost profitability, but carry a greater liability risks with the higher level of care.
Hire the Right Staff
Any successful skilled nursing facility depends on the talents and capabilities of their administrator, director of nursing and billing department. Your billers are especially important in retaining profit. SNFs are reimbursement models; therefore paperwork completed incorrectly will result in the loss of money and resources. Fill these three positions with especially knowledgeable, experienced and capable people and your facility’s bottom line will increase.
Find Your Next Skilled Nursing Facility with the JCH Group
The JCH Group consistently delivers the best results when it comes to the senior housing marketplace. Our team is available to you for consultations and complimentary valuations. For inquiries about our services or for more information on managing a profitable SNF, call Shep at 805-633-4649 or visit http://shepjch.com.
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