By Kim Townsend
The world of long-term care is changing in 2018, and this will impact the future of care in Central New York.
• Memory Care Trends — Not only is dementia affecting more people, but it is also starting to affect younger people. Loretto is making a significant investment in memory care to help ensure we have the appropriate professionals and the facilities for victims of this disease.
• Telemedicine Trends — To help address rising health care costs and best leverage new technology, Loretto will be working to improve patient care and reduce readmission rates through the incorporation of telemedicine to enhance our rehabilitation services.
• Workforce Development — There continues to be a shortage of the skilled nursing and other professional staff in this region. Recruiting, training, employing and supporting these individuals is a key area of focus for Loretto in 2018.
Loretto has hired more than 300 graduates through CenterState CEO’s Health Train initiative over the past three years with an 89 percent retention rate, higher than the industry standard. And we offer some of the greatest employee benefits — from low-or no-cost health insurance or car buying programs, family support and tuition for higher education.
• Tax Reform — Some of the most significant challenges we will face in 2018 and the near future come in the form of legislation. Any changes to Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security would have a significant negative impact on the people who live in residential facilities, like those at Loretto. And residents coming into our facilities are now living with us for 10 to 20 years, which was not the model when Medicaid was introduced in the 1960s. Even those who may have saved for retirement likely didn’t anticipate living to 90 or 100, and at some point will need Medicaid assistance.
• Looking Ahead — To meet the challenges ahead, we must focus on initiatives that promote Loretto’s strength as a high volume, low cost provider of exceptional quality services that not only meet the current needs but also exceed the expectations of our community.