The cost of long-term care is, and has been, on the rise. As an aging Baby Boomer population increasingly needs additional care, and long-term care facilities struggle with staffing shortages, demand for care is creating an additional pinch.
A recent report illustrated the financial balancing act long-term care facilities are being forced to manage. While nursing homes predict a 5% increase in spending on care-related costs, that figure comes in only slightly below the rate of inflation. And costs, unfortunately, are increasing every year.
Federal predictions, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), offer a similar outlook, anticipating rising out-of-pocket and overall costs for home health care, nursing facilities and community care environments. These predictions inevitably trickle down to impact consumers when it comes to long-term care insurance and inflation protection, which in a different financial era may have seemed less necessary than it does now.
Beyond inflationary pressures, the long-term care industry is also expected to be impacted by a few other trends this year — some of which could compound or reign in rising costs.
Economic downturn. As health care costs are expected to rise by $135 billion this year, according to industry estimates, a number of long-term care facilities are unable to bridge the gap between costs and care delivery — which means a number of facilities are closing.
Recruitment and retention. Staffing shortages, and a lean labor force, make finding and keeping qualified caregivers a challenge. Long-term care facilities need to make benefits and salaries more appealing in order to effectively address this persistent challenge.
Employee wellness. Industry experts predicted earlier this year that employee wellness programs would be top of mind for long-term care facilities, particularly in tandem with staffing challenges. These programs not only deal with physical health and safety, on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also with the whole person, from childcare to PTO to flexible scheduling.
Implementing new practices. As technology becomes increasingly embedded in health care settings, long-term care facilities are encouraged to lean into how those applications can create efficiencies and potentially aid cost savings.
At UnitedRX, our partnerships with long-term care facilities recognize all of these challenges and more. From a technology standpoint in particular, our processes streamline the pharmacy experience and our practices are designed to create cost savings for the facilities with which we partner — helping to offset financial burdens felt throughout the industry. Our commitment to tracking and reporting, for example, reduces errors and helps create cost savings for our partners.
To learn more about how a partnership with UnitedRX may provide cost savings to your long-term care facility in an era of rising expenses, reach out to one of our team members.
At UnitedRX, we deliver a hometown pharmacy experience to more than 400 clients across the country. Contact us to learn more about how our approach to treatment can meet the pharmacy needs of your long-term care facility.