For some time now I, and everyone else that spends time writing and talking about the world of long term care, have been addressing the fact that things are changing. It is no longer enough for a community to simply be a caring, well maintained and comfortable facility. Those things have not diminished in importance by any means. It is just that other things have become of equal or greater importance.

The conversation has now become data driven. The folks that you have to impress, beside the family, are now the ACO and the managed care company. The government is looking for ways to save what they spend on Medicare and its beneficiaries. It does not matter if you are trying to be part of an ACO or ACO like organization, bundled payment group or part of the Dual Eligible Initiative that is being explored around the country, you must know your metrics. Not only do need to know them you must be able to articulate them in a clear and concise fashion. Not every SNF has the same patient population and that can greatly affect your ratings.

You need to know your length of stay, rehospitalizaton rate, mortality rate and how much it costs you to deliver your service. These are the things that are important when discussing if you would be a good facility to partner with.

Do keep in mind that you do have one important thing in your favor. You know and perform your business better than any of those organizations that you will be dealing with. They don’t know how to do what you do. If they did, they would start doing it.

One last thing and this is important. Start the conversation with them yourself. Do not wait on them to come to you. Just begin by asking them what they are looking for in SNF partner. If they are not sure and often times they will not be, then you will be in a much more favorable position. You can then help drive the direction of the conversation the way you would like to see it go.