I have to admit that when I saw the news headline last week, “BREAKING: CMS cuts SNF pay rates by net $320 million,” I felt a kick-’em-while-they’re-down discouragement.
I’m concerned, like others, about how facilities currently struggling financially are going to make it to the anticipated period when demographic shifts will lead to full beds and thriving enterprises.
As a psychologist, I’m also mindful of the emotional impact of these news stories. The nursing home business has never been easy, but since the pandemic, it’s been vastly more difficult, with facility closures, large numbers of staff members departing, and new recruits hard to come by.
It’s telling and unsettling that my most popular column in 2021 was titled, “How to keep working in LTC (when you’re not sure how much more you can take).”
A recent headline, “BREAKING: U.S. nursing home system ‘ineffective,’ ‘unsustainable,’ National Academies report says,” succinctly summarized the vast challenges of the field. While I agree with what I read of the quoted report (I got about 400 pages in and then my flight landed), I wish for news that offers encouragement and support for weary long-term care providers.
It’s likely that different titles would spark hope regarding the direction of the field depending on what role one has in the industry.
Here are some breaking news headlines I’d like to read:
“CMS appoints psychologist to monitor emotional impact of policies on providers”
“Billionaire donates fortune to study cost-effective ways to offer quality eldercare services”