Pressures To Mount On Long-Term Care; Seizing Solutions Will Matter

The senior care industry in the U.S. was under pressure before the pandemic. As 2022 and the third year of COVID’s influence approaches, it’s not easing up. A host of trends say the industry’s battering is not yet over.

The reluctance to live in a COVID epicenter helped occupancy rates among long-term care facilities to plummet from 85% in January of 2020 to 68% a year later, and by September, they’d only crawled back up to 74%.

Losses of $94 billion between 2020 and 2021[2] will be a challenge to recoup, especially since graying Americans would rather get old at home, and 90% of those over 65 are already doing so.

Worsening finances notably affects staffing, but food and infection control; only a quarter of nursing homes believe they can last another year.

Survival of the fittest? Absolutely. Organizations that recognize and act to counter or leverage some deepening trends will do best in the new normal that’s evolving.

Among them:

  1. Staffing shortages – a never-ending issue
  2. Value-based care – transition looms
  3. Enterprise risk management will determine who wins

At some point – likely in 2022 – safety inspections will go back to basics. Organizations that have adopted an integrated ERM approach to safety will achieve multidisciplinary accountability, and ensure organizational readiness, especially to manage uncertainty.

In the end, they will have a much better story to tell regulators, patients and residents, and, of course, their insurers.

Jonathan Romero is a commercial advisor with global insurance brokerage Hub International in Florida, out of Tallahassee. He specializes in medical and white-collar professional risks, advising on professional, malpractice and management liability exposures and coverages. He also provides comprehensive property, casualty and benefits consulting to these clients, both for smaller, private clientele and for the large, public groups.