We have always expressed confidence in skilled nursing’s role in the post-acute continuum of care model going forward, but it’s true that the sector will also have to adapt to guarantee its place there. Two Ohio-based health systems signed a collaborative agreement to operate a new kind of skilled nursing facility, one that we may see more of in the future.  

Toledo-based ProMedica and Cleveland-based The MetroHealth System will operate the facility (which will open later this year) on the site of the former Deaconess Hospital and will be jointly staffed by the health systems. ProMedica will provide most of the caregivers and will hire and manage the physicians and therapists from MetroHealth’s roster.  

The facility will provide a range of services, from intensive short-stay rehab to traditional skilled nursing services, and will also have a multi-specialty geriatric practice on-site. Across the 96 private rooms, the average length of stay is expected to be less than 30 days. The facility will also offer outpatient care and easy access to inpatient rehab services, geriatricians and other geriatric specialists.  

Making skilled nursing facilities the hub of post-acute care services (usually at a lower cost than in-patient rehab and long-term acute care hospitals) could very well be the solution to the sector thriving in the future. But then there are the Medicaid patients in need of long-term care too, which traditional skilled nursing facilities will continue provide. It’s just a tougher business to be very profitable.