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Turning Around Troubled Long-Term Care Facilities


It is never a single problem or issue that creates a “troubled” long-term care facility, says Alan Funk, President, Pomeroy Health, Inc. To be able to identify the underlying issues and develop appropriate strategies to deal with them, Funk suggests that difficult situations need to be broken up into different components. Funk believes the battle has to be addressed on several fronts,

The Chairperson at the upcoming marcus evans Long-Term Care CXO Summit 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 23-24, Funk puts forward his recommendations for managing long-term care facilities better. 

In your experience, what mistakes do the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of “troubled” facilities make? What do they overlook?

This is rarely about a single problem. The key is to break down the situation into different parts, to get to the underlying root of problems. The next step is, on a priority basis, to develop appropriate strategies to deal with them. There is a critical need to involve and engage all staff, and this is a mistake that CEOs make. They attempt to handle things on their own, when it is critical to bring employees into the picture. Leaders also need to drop their ego, and timely seek help and support when indicated. Complex issues cannot generally be resolved by any one individual.

How can these issues be avoided in the first place?

Being proactive is critical. I see a lot of situations where folks are reacting too late to situations because they ignored early warning signs of problems. Things should not come as a surprise. Timely sharing of information, whether through reports, meetings, written or verbal communications, or on-site visits, will help facilities be more on top of impending negative developments.

Staying in touch with the key target audiences and customers (including staff) is also very important. Implementing these steps should dramatically reduce the element of surprise.

Do you have any advice for maximizing reimbursement?

Getting comparative data is essential for understanding where your organization fits in. It is hard to know whether your facility is overpaid or underpaid, unless you assess what others in your county or state are getting. The same would apply to a facility’s costs. If your facility is over- or under-reimbursed, it might be time to turn to a specialist who can analyze rates and rate structures.

There are sophisticated software programs that can assist in understanding where the facility is losing money and help shape a road map for maximizing reimbursement.

How can facilities be more profitable? What opportunities can they capitalize on?

Understanding the expectations of all customers is key. Are there any gaps in services and programs or any unmet needs that your organization can address?

Enhancing profitability is going to be highly related to and dependent not only on quality of care and outcomes, but on the quality of the physical environments in which care is provided. Our industry needs to focus on what the Baby Boomers are looking for in how and where their care is delivered.

Interview by Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

For more information, contact Laurel Zevitz at

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Thursday, November 14, 2013


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