An update on Bayview’s evolution of health care services

Nancy Weinbeck: 5 lessons from the for-profit senior living world

Nancy Weinbeck: 5 lessons from the for-profit senior living world

Bayview, our 62-plus nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community has sat on the lower part of the historic Queen Anne Hill since 1961. However, with our recent evolution of our health care services, you may be thinking our continuing care model has changed. (I have good news - it’s evolved to something better). I am referring to the difficult decision Bayview recently made to close our Skilled Nursing Facility, a part of our on-site continuum of care. Our belief in the benefits of a skilled nursing care setting for individuals is strong and has not changed. Providing excellent quality of care in all our living options is something we will continue to hold as our standard.

So why did we make the decision to pivot away from on-site skilled nursing to off-site skilled nursing?

This is a story of economic forces and unintended consequences. Prior to the pandemic, the warning call had been made regarding nursing shortages. When COVID hit, the nursing shortage crisis went into overdrive as droves of nurses left the field, as did other healthcare workers.

The basic economics of supply and demand played out. With a severe shortage of staff, wages and other expenses increased dramatically. On the flip side, reimbursements were decreasing (Medicare and Managed Medicare plans). There was always a gap between the cost of care and reimbursement for care, but the pandemic increased that gap exponentially, and neither factor is predicted to change direction. In addition to these economic pressures, the regulatory environment also tightened during COVID, which added to workload and took time away from patient care. As a small 50-bed skilled nursing facility, we did not have the economies of skill to spread costs effectively like a large facility can.

However, with challenge comes opportunity. In Bayview’s case, we entered into a partnership with one of the most respected skilled nursing facilities in the state of Washington, Kline Galland. Our partnership with Kline Galland ensures access to a premiere provider for the short-term rehab component for Bayview residents. Residents always have a choice to conduct their rehab at another facility but now the team of Kline Galland is working hand in hand with the team at Bayview to provide a seamless transition to skilled nursing care at their location if and when it’s needed. We’ve also enhanced our transportation services so friends and loved ones can easily visit this off-site location.

We were also able to increase long-term care services in our Assisted Living and Memory Care settings and made appropriate changes to further meet resident care needs. Other communities, locally and nationally, operating at smaller scales like Bayview have made similar shifts in their model of care. This flexibility allows for better navigation of this healthcare landscape that continues to be in flux. As a vibrant Continuing Care Retirement Community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and an off-site Skilled Nursing & Rehab, our new approach to care provision will be able to better meet the needs of residents today and into the future.