This article was published on 4/9/2021 on Skilled Nursing News and written by Maggie Flynn on April 8, 2021.

This article is posted on the Dialyze Direct website:

For skilled nursing facilities, the ability to treat patients in place has far-reaching implications, perhaps most prominently in reducing unnecessary hospitalizations.

Usually, that reduction is framed in terms of cost, with penalties for hospitals and SNFs alike if a patient returns to the acute care setting too soon. SNFs that perform well in preventing resident rehospitalizations can earn bonuses, for instance, through the Medicare Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program.

But even though controversy exists around the effectiveness of that program, there are other benefits. Institutional special needs plans (I-SNPs), a Medicare Advantage program specifically for residents in long-term care facilities, have pointed to the clinical benefits of treating patients in place in any context, but particularly in times of major contagious illness where any interaction can be risky — and hospitals have sometimes been overwhelmed.

And for the residents themselves, treating in place prevents the hassle — and sometimes the trauma — of going to and from the SNF to a new setting. For some operators, dialysis services present an opportunity for SNFs to expand their ability to treat to patients in place — and find their footing in a post-COVID world.

Home hemodialysis in the skilled nursing setting would allow SNFs to avoid some of those rehospitalizations and improve patient outcomes, even before the pandemic, according to Jonathan Paull, chief compliance officer and general counsel at Dialyze Direct.

By offering this service, SNFs can attract new patients who might need it, in turn, improving their census; the operator SavaSeniorCare, for instance, sees adding dialysis services to its SNFs as a way to strengthen census even amid the changes wrought by the pandemic.

But there’s more to it even than that, Paull told SNN in late March.

You can review the full article by visiting the article on Dialyze Direct: