What Would Regulatory Relief Mean for SNFs?

At the recent NYSHFA Annual Convention, there was a great deal of discussion around the topic of Regulatory Relief.  For an industry that could be the most over-regulated industry in the history of over-regulated industries, that sounds great.  So, what does it mean?Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) recently appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee to advocate for legislation to reduce the enormous amount of regulations that envelop the Post-Acute Care industry.I’ve always been one of those people that likes to know where I (or we) stand.  I have assembled below a short list of the most recent regulatory related issues in Post-Acute care, some of which are good things.  In the coming weeks, we can expand on this list. I’d love to hear your input.Here goes:1.       Updates to the Survey Process – The most significant aspect has been incorporating the new F-tags, facility assessments and other elements of the Requirements of Participation2.       Requirements of Participation – Phase 3 will go into effect November 2019. Lots of staff training to be performed prior to then3.       Five-Star Rating System & Value Based Purchasing – SNFs who are below 3 stars or less could be left out of provider networks.  With so much emphasis on the Survey Star (see #1), there is a lot of pressure to have great surveys 4.       Reducing Readmissions – Facilities low readmission rates will avoid potential reimbursement cuts5.       Potential statutes requiring staff to patient ratios – This would be disastrous with everyone seemingly having staffing needs6.       Lifting federal restrictions on CNA training – this would be awesome!7.       Patients over Paperwork initiative – Also awesome!!8.       Combating Opioid Epidemic – An issue that has come out of nowhere9.       Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) Implementation to replace the RUG-IV System in October 2019 – will significantly changed how Rehab is delivered and how Medicare patients are treatedThis is just the “off the top of my head” list that doesn’t include the constant battles of:1.       Driving Census 2.       Case mix3.       Staffing / staff morale4.       Improving reimbursement & compliance5.       Maintaining and improving Quality MeasuresWhat’s missing from the list is what I will call “Getting Ahead.”  Initiatives around EMR investment and winning AHCA Silver & Gold Quality Awards are out of reach for all but a handful because of resource constraints and slim margins.Is it time for Regulatory Relief?  I’d say so.  Where do we begin?  I'd love to hear your comments.  Please use the comment box below.