60 Seconds with Steve Monroe & Ben Swett: See Y’all in Houston

A lot has changed since we were last elbow bumping with people at the San Diego NIC conference in March 2020. There have been some other in-person conferences in the last few months, but next week’s NIC will be really the first time that the senior care industry is reunited since the pandemic. And we are looking forward to seeing everyone once again. When we’re in Houston, we’d love to hear about your experiences, the difficulties and your successes in the last year and a half whether as an operator, investor, lender or broker. And of course, about any deals you are currently working on. But we are also going to be asking for your predictions in 2022. Be forewarned. We also have our own... Read More »

60 Seconds with Steve Monroe: Losing a Patriot, But Not to COVID

We lost a true patriot this week, Colin Powell, and I had the fortunate opportunity to meet him at my brother’s swearing in ceremony at the State Department. I think I committed a faux pas, however, as I brought his autobiography with me and asked him to sign it. I guess you just don’t do that with a sitting Secretary of State, in his office. But I did, and he obliged. What bothered me about the announcement of his death was that the family stated it was from complications from COVID-19. The reality is he was 84 years old, had Parkinson’s Disease and multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells that suppresses the body’s immune system. The bottom line is that he was in bad health... Read More »
60 Seconds with Ben Swett: The Labor Problem Gets Worse

60 Seconds with Ben Swett: The Labor Problem Gets Worse

There’s no hiding from the labor shortage affecting senior care facilities. According to a September survey from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, 99% of nursing homes and 96% of assisted living communities reported having either low-level, moderate-level or high-level staffing shortages. So only 1% and 4% of those facilities, respectively, are fully staffed? That is astounding. 28% of AL communities reported limiting new admissions because of the shortages, which is not good, but 58% of SNFs have had to turn away patients or referrals. Not only are they losing out on revenue, but they don’t have the opportunity to prove their worth in the... Read More »

60 Seconds with Ben Swett: The SKILLS Act and Long-Term Care

Last week, Pennsylvania Congressman Fred Keller introduced the Strengthening Knowledge, Improving Learning, and Livelihoods (or SKILLS) Act. The legislation will be designed to guide individuals who were laid off during the pandemic in the retail and hospitality industries to new career opportunities in industries like long-term care, which desperately needs more qualified workers.   The Act would put these people on a career path and encourage advancement in the long-term care industry, but the details on how are sparse, at least right now. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living fully supported the legislation and will now get to work getting it... Read More »

60 Seconds with Ben Swett: Vaccine Mandates and Staff Retention

Next month, CMS will release its Interim Final Rule with a comment period on the mandate for skilled nursing facilities, but also hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical centers and home health agencies, to vaccinate their staff or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding. Even before the announcement and the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine in August, many senior care companies already issued mandates, like Atria Senior Living, LCS and Five Star Senior Living, just to name a few. But we have not heard many concrete data on staff resignations as a result of these mandates, since that is a great fear for the industry. Anecdotally, the results and predicted outcomes are all... Read More »

60 Seconds With Ben Swett: The New Senior Living Rankings

U.S. News & World Report announced that it is getting into the business of ranking seniors housing communities, after already doing the same for nursing homes. We’re happy to see the initiative since improved transparency for the sector and recognition of the services that operators provide is a good thing. We are also pleased that apparently, U.S. News will dedicate one journalist to cover the sector and help educate consumers on the differences between seniors housing and SNFs, which national and local media fail to do all too often.  After working with some industry leaders and associations to create a rankings methodology, Activated Insights, run by CEO Jacquelyn Kung, is... Read More »