Everyday, as I have said in previous blogs, I comb through the news for articles that apply to my specialty niche, Senior Living. The articles that I choose to blog on have provoked a thought of one kind or another and this one gave me reason to pause.
Is the future of Senior Care behemoth organizations? First doctors are joining large health systems and now the Senior Living Industry is fighting for its life and taking the same path.
With little competition and large organizations, will the quality of care slip through the cracks? I know it’s hard to maintain when you are small and after talking to an owner of a smaller group of homes, my heart sank. When I heard this same tone from a man who has literally grown up in this industry questions began to come to my mind. What will this mean to the millions facing the choice of where to complete their circle of life? What will it mean to the many smaller locations? Are we facing a precipice of no return?
I watched the physicians turn over their practices to large health systems and I watched the decline in the actual care in only a few cases, however, the personal involvement has to suffer. The connection to your “people” cannot survive a “depersonalization” of care. To complicate matters, in some cases the physician didn’t even realize the next step coming was, after the patients were used to the changed office, the system could non renew their contract and hire another physician at less pay to assume the practice and the non compete would preclude the physician from action.
My sadness is in the heart of healthcare the basis that everyone gets involved in this particular area is not always the money, it is the people and your personal contribution to change their lives and make them better. When the cost of doing business is so outweighed by the reasons for your participation, there is only one way to go. Healthcare is sadly succumbing to large corporations that can afford all of the changes that are on the horizon, or can afford to pay the penalties if they disregard them. Who suffers here? The people, the patients, the residents in the case of Senior Living. Is there no end in sight to the decline of our healthcare system? Where does the buck stop? Are we too late to find the solutions? Are there any solutions?
These and so many more questions plague me each day as I comb through the news and I feel compelled to try. It only takes one, one small stone to start an avalanche and there are ways to change things in a miniscule way to make a difference, and that is my task. In small ways solutions to those aspects of this industry can make a difference but education on those small ways are paramount and truly a small investment can yield big results. I have seen it.