The Future of Skilled Nursing Facilities: Embracing Telemedicine Beyond COVID-19
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine emerged as a game-changer in healthcare delivery. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have not been immune to the transformative power of this technology. What initially served as a temporary solution to ensure continuity of care, has now become a vital component in the future of SNFs. As we continue to navigate the many tools and technology available in healthcare, it's evident that telemedicine is here to stay, revolutionizing the way SNFs provide healthcare services.
Telemedicine has been around for decades but the onset of COVID-19 saw patients, providers and healthcare systems embrace it in a way that has changed the landscape of healthcare delivery. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have not been immune to the transformative power of this technology. What initially served as a temporary solution to ensure continuity of care, has now become a vital component in the future of SNFs. As we continue to navigate the many tools and technology available in healthcare, it's evident that telemedicine is here to stay, revolutionizing the way SNFs provide healthcare services.
Let's explore the benefits and the lasting value that telemedicine can bring to your facility
Enhanced Access to Care
One of the most significant advantages of telemedicine in SNFs is the improved accessibility to care. Geographical barriers, limited transportation options, and off-hour physician access often pose challenges for patients in obtaining healthcare services. Telemedicine eliminates these hurdles by connecting patients with healthcare professionals remotely, regardless of their physical location. This means residents in rural facilities or those with limited mobility can receive specialized care in place.
Improved Revenue Capture and Cost Saving
SNFs experience significant financial benefits through the implementation of telemedicine. From a revenue standpoint, telemedicine enables SNFs to boost their occupancy rates (with each 1% increase equating to approximately $110k per year), admit and provide care for patients with higher acuity levels, thereby increasing reimbursements under the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and receive site-of-service fees for each telemedicine visit facilitated. These advantages can result in a remarkable return on investment ranging from 6 to 10 times. On the cost front, telemedicine allows SNFs to streamline workflows and enhance overall efficiency.
Instead of arranging transportation and coordinating appointments with external healthcare providers, SNF nursing staff can connect residents to their care teams virtually. It’s quick, easy, and overall less paperwork — saving time and reducing burden on already impacted resources. The cost savings associated with telemedicine can be significant, as it minimizes the need for costly emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.
Continuity of Care
A seamless continuum of care is at the top of your mind for residents. Virtual care options offer real-time collaboration between SNF staff and the patients’ healthcare providers. This enhances the quality of care, reduces the risk of complications, and improves patient outcomes. It also promotes effective care coordination among various healthcare disciplines, leading to comprehensive and holistic treatment plans.
Enhanced Quality of Life
By enabling remote consultations, patients can receive care in a familiar and comfortable environment, reducing stress and anxiety. Additionally, telemedicine facilitates better communication between healthcare professionals, residents, and their families, fostering a sense of empowerment and engagement in their healthcare decision-making.
Telemedicine has revolutionized healthcare delivery in skilled nursing facilities, and its benefits extend far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. By embracing this technology, SNFs can enhance access to care, improve efficiency, ensure continuity of care, reduce infection risks, and enhance the quality of life.
The future of SNFs lies in a seamless integration of innovation and technology into care models, providing efficient, patient-centered, and sustainable healthcare services. As we move forward, embracing these transformative solutions and harnessing its full potential will help to create a brighter future for skilled nursing facility residents.
It’s evident that telemedicine is here to stay and will revolutionize the way SNFs provide healthcare services.
The Curve Health Difference:
Adopting new technologies like telemedicine can be a big decision. However, there are several reasons why embracing telemedicine, and a platform like Curve Health, can be beneficial for your facility. Curve Health enables timely care, cost savings, enhanced care coordination, and a way to future-proof your organization.
- Timely medical care without the need for transportation or arranging in-person visits is especially valuable for your population. With telemedicine, residents can connect with their healthcare provider conveniently, reducing barriers to care and ensuring they receive the attention they need, when they need it
- Improved revenue capture via heightened census, greater PDPM reimbursement, telemedicine site-of-service fees, and improved payment via the Value Based Purchasing Program
- Reduce healthcare costs and decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions. Regular check-ins and proactive monitoring lead to cost savings for both your facility and the healthcare system
- Curve Health provides robust features for care coordination. You can securely share medical information, including electronic health records (EHRs) and diagnostic reports, with the patient’s healthcare provider. This promotes seamless collaboration between the facility's staff, primary care physicians, and specialists, ensuring comprehensive care plans are in place and reducing the chances of miscommunication or gaps in care
Embracing this technology now positions your SNF as forward-thinking and adaptable to changing industry trends. As the healthcare landscape evolves, telemedicine is likely to become more prevalent and integrated into various care settings.
Stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive with the only SNF specific telemedicine solution.
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