As the nation moves through the initial phase of COVID-19 and on to future planning, skilled nursing facilities must make efforts to hire more workers — particularly registered nurses and perhaps even an infection preventionist, says Derek Pierce, managing director at Healthcare Management Partners. 

In a webinar last week hosted by SC&H Capital, Pierce shared his perspective on how important it will be for facilities to get workforce protocols in place now to prevent the virus from entering the building and, if it does, from spreading within the facility. He also called for the ongoing use of telehealth strategies to provide services without introducing additional people into the building, which is not historically a big area of focus for nursing homes. 

“It is going to be a new day for SNFs and technology,” Pierce said. He added that taking time to build partnerships with local hospitals will also be important amidst the “new normal” in which the healthcare industry is now beginning to operate. He called on facilities to talk to hospital nurses and see if they can provide some additional training to allow an operator to up its acuity game, as that will be what is needed. 

Ken Mann, managing director at SC&H Capital, also encouraged lenders to have patience with borrowers for the next six to 12 months. He called on capital providers to make an effort to recognize the difference between a borrower’s pre-COVID distress and distress as a result of COVID? 

“If it’s COVID related, stay patient and ‘re-paper the deal’ to create a future financial picture that’s workable,” Mann recommended. “If it was distressed before COVID, however, it’s in real trouble now, and you’ll have to evaluate cutting your losses and moving on.”

This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.