Leading Age Illinois Conference

Root Causes of Post Acute Care (PAC) Operator Insomnia!

AKA “What keeps PAC operators up a night?”

Root Causes of insomnia

As the old saw goes “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” The presentation about the causes of worry for Post Acute Operators was about problems seen before but with new approaches for solutions.  The big three problems are:  Staff Retention and Development, meeting your future client’s expectations, and addressing the needs of the highest volume market opportunity.

Staff Retention

The industry has always been concerned with the availability and cost of the staff.  Since the availability of cost effective labor is decreasing with an improved economy it is becoming more evident that SNF and other LTC operators need to learn new ways to improve retention rates.  We all know that staff continuity is critical to achieving great financial performance, resident satisfaction and high quality reputation.


An emerging idea is the importance of the emotional intelligence of the leadership team.  The facility’s management has to have the skills to recognize the emotional needs of staff and find ways to improve. PAC industry is not the only one concerned with emotional intelligence, as the availability of skilled labor becomes more constrained across the economy everyone needs to compete emotionally and financially.  If you haven’t gotten on objective assessment of your leadership team’s emotional intelligence it may well be a solid first step toward improving your competitiveness.

Meeting the next generation’s expectations

The new customer will always want things they are used to having at a higher rate than the current generation.  The next generation’s expectations are:  transparency, being involved and engaged, and having a memorable revolutionary Experience.


One of the ideas presented was engaging the residents to be part of the solution.  Help them organize and participate in things they want to talk about or work on.

Addressing the middle income market

The middle-income market of the current is larger than we have seen in a long time.  The 20-year age span of the Boomer generation is 73 million members and 81% of the senior market is >75 years old.  If ADLs will consume 50% of their income and Healthcare will also consume 50% of their income there will be major difficult tradeoffs in care choices to address.


What happens when the expectations of the market participants exceeds their ability or willingness to pay?  The adaptations by both market and industry participants will be significant and probably not identified yet.  One idea that might happen is service that helps this market age in place better and delay entry to the LTC facility of choice.


It is obvious to me that as the rate of change accelerates and becomes larger the greater the demands on operators to manage this change.  This cannot be done alone; it requires vicarious collaboration and willingness to learn to succeed.

Categorized as Articles

By Bill Shaw

William " Bill " Shaw has been in the health care sector for over 30 years. After leaving management positions at Fortune 200 companies. such as The Upjohn Company, Kidde, The Travelers and Cigna he started William M Shaw & Associates, health care consulting. He has written and presented at many industry conferences . He has supported over 80 companies, start-ups in their positioning in the managed care, long term care and nice service/product space.