When senior-focused health care
facility administrators want to expand their inpatient Medicare populations,
they may want to consider taking the plunge into aquatics. Revenue generation
is a critical component when it comes to growing a skilled nursing center—without
growth, it will be very difficult to survive in this competitive environment.
When our leaders at Westview
Health Care Center took a comprehensive, holistic look at how we could attract
additional Medicare inpatient and potential outpatient eligible recipients, we
became certain that adding aquatic therapy to our amenities would accomplish
these goals. That hypothesis has come to fruition, thanks to some serious and
Why Aquatics Is Attractive To Medicare Populations
A world-class therapy pool can be
used to attract new patients thanks to the positive effects that are regularly
seen from the consistent use of aquatics as a complement to more traditional
land-based therapies and exercise protocols.
Some driving forces of aquatics can help bring seniors in the doors
places offer the public the chance to utilize an advanced therapy pool in many
markets. While aquatics in a
crowded, cold-water public pool may be commonplace, having the choice of using
a warm-water therapy pool with all the bells and whistles, such as an
underwater treadmill floor or resistance jets, is not. This sense of exclusivity is highly
attractive to people looking for innovative ways to live longer, healthier
lives without the need for increased dosages of prescription medications,
assisted living devices, and surgical interventions. When what you’re offering
isn’t typical, you can be the first in the market to establish a program, and
that sense of partnering with a leader fosters loyalty.
is a reliable tool for helping Medicare patients stay fit longer, recover from
surgeries better, and improve balance and gait after incidents such as a stroke
or a fall. Aquatic therapy is a
reinvestment in a population that is dealing with the natural process of aging.
From a financial perspective, Medicare will cover aquatic therapy in many cases
because of its acceptability. When we opened our nursing home in the 1950s, we
couldn’t have imagined putting an aquatic therapy pool in our facility. But
now, it just seems common sense, when you consider the number of individuals
that can benefit from it.
who know the benefits of aquatics will refer their Medicare patients to a
facility with a warm-water therapy pool. Certainly, not all physicians are
familiar with aquatic therapy, but more and more are opening up to this option
for the people they serve. When their patients return to them with positive
feedback, the doctors are even more comfortable becoming referrers. It’s a
cycle that keeps repeating, and it results in increasing revenue streams.
Creative Solution To An Ongoing Need
Let’s face it—many of us will require a skilled nursing
facility, if we’re fortunate enough to live that long. We won’t want to feel
tied down and trapped by our bodies. Aquatic therapy and exercise is a
refreshing, appealing, fall-proof way to safely combat the problems that come
The health care environment,
whether you’re talking about reimbursement, regulations, expectations of
patients or expectations of our communities, is changing rapidly. The pressure
rests with the providers to meet expectations and regulations with dwindling
revenue sources. Aquatic therapy can work as a viable solution to avoid closing
down, having to merge with another entity, or being bought out, when you
consider it with an open mind and strategic planning. If we’re not smarter,
quicker, and creative, we won’t be in the game.
The good news is that there are
always answers. We just have to be bold enough to search for them.
David Pantelakos is administrator
for Westview Health Care Center in Dayville, CT (http://www.westviewhcc.com/). He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (860) 774-8574.