Healthcare Perspectives

 

Multi-Location Senior Care Facility Challenges and Opportunities: Visibility and Control


Jun 04, 2019
Healthcare

The next three decades will make for a busy time for those in the senior care sector. The baby boom of the mid-20thcentury is now a retirement boom, and, as time passes, this will ultimately turn into a senior care boom — the only question is, when? 

As we discussed in a recent blog, there are currently over 67 million Americans over the age of 60, with this number of retirement-age Americans set to skyrocket in the next few decades. Added to this, higher life expectancies mean more demand for senior care, ultimately meaning that at some point in the next decade, you will need to grow. 

While this will present challenges of its own — grow too fast and you increase costs without revenue, grow too slow and you lose residents to competitors — it will also create another issue: managing your new locations. Retirees are eschewing “traditional” states for retirement, meaning you can’t just build in Florida or Arizona and expect the same demand. You may find more opportunity by opening an additional location in Iowa, South Dakota or Virginia. 

As with any business, your senior care facility will face new challenges with each new location — new tax codes, new regulatory environment and new competition for staff and residents. Even more challenging for those entering a new market, your senior care will have new payors to deal with new expectations and standards of their own.

Visibility and Control: Necessities for the Multi-Location Senior Care Facility

Both in the front and back office, you need visibility and control over everything from staff scheduling, patient satisfaction and financials. You must be able to see what’s going on at each location and take steps from the home office to ensure everything meets the high standards you expect and your residents deserve.

Knowing this, in a heavily regulated and scrutinized industry, you have to answer to regulators, payors, watchdogs and class-action lawyers, all of whom will jump at the chance to fine you, pay you less, attack your reputation or sue your facility. 

For senior care facilities where the front and back office need to be heavily intertwined, it’s often the latter of these that presents challenges. Whether you are rolling up or drilling down, each new location adds another layer of complexity. Decentralized payables, new billing requirements, multiple fiscal years, inter-entity transactions, multiple tax codes, global consolidations — more locations mean more complexity, and more complexity often means more work just to understand the basics. 

Financial Management Software for the Senior Care Industry

To address these challenges, you need visibility at your fingertips and can’t spend hours on consolidations, reporting or decision-making. Financial statements need to be ready when you are, presented the way you want and delivered to you accurately — spreadsheets and emails simply don’t cut it.

As payors become more stringent, regulators become more focused and business becomes more challenging for senior care facilities, many are turning to the cloud to handle the increasing complexity that comes with an increasing number of locations. If you are looking for visibility, flexibility and control, you need a HIPAA-ready solution designed for the multi-location business.

Ready to learn more? We invite you to learn more about the work Wipfli does for senior care facilities like yours, and contact us for more information.

Author(s)

Barbara Bell
Barbara Bell, CPA, CMA
Director
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