From the CEO: Your resource during health care reform

Bruce Shogren, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, from the ceoBy Bruce Shogren, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America president and CEO

I remember becoming a parent for the first time in 1990. My wife, Velvet, and I were excited to welcome the first of our three daughters into our family, but we were not quite sure what to expect. We knew this little blessing would bring changes to our lives, most of which we did not fully comprehend at the time.

For example, during the past 20-some years – even though I am a die-hard baseball fan – I became well versed in women’s tennis because my daughters excelled at the sport during their high school and college years. In addition, both Velvet and I believe we became experts in the specifics of selecting the right college. I feel as if we visited them all as we guided our daughters through the decision-making process.

Looking back on the past 20-plus years, I realize that despite our initial apprehensions about parenthood, we did just fine with all the changes that came our way.

The apprehension I felt about parenthood must be similar for everyone, and it is familiar to those of us who work in the long-term care industry, especially because of the ever-changing health care environment. However, as with parenting, eventually apprehension gives way to experience and knowledge, turning what seemed to be overwhelming decisions into everyday choices.

For me, and hopefully you, it is assuring to know Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America has been at the forefront of many changes during its 65-year history, few of which could have been anticipated when this organization was founded in 1948.

As early as the mid-1960s, when most of PMMA’s competitors were focusing on skilled nursing and services, PMMA was developing intermediate care, assisted living and retirement apartment living. As a result, PMMA became a leader in developing the concept of continuing care retirement communities.

This pioneering spirit remains today. As our nation faces rising health care costs for an aging population, as well as mounting concerns about the future of health care, PMMA continues to be an important resource to residents and their families. Currently, we are helping residents understand the implementation of KanCare.

KanCare replaced Kansas’ Medicaid program on Jan. 1 with three private companies – United Healthcare, AmeriGroup and Sunflower State Health Plan – that will manage the state’s 380,000 Medicaid beneficiaries.

KanCare is just the tip of the iceberg of the change in health care. There are thousands of pages of national health care reform regulations still being crafted on Capitol Hill. Although our industry does not yet know or understand every single way the Affordable Care Act will impact us, at PMMA we are educating ourselves so we will be ready to respond to these changes. One thing we do know is health care reform will add costs to all health care systems.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America is poised to become an important part of the solution. Our PATH (Post-Acute To Home) program allows patients to recover in specialized care areas in our senior living communities. This program efficiently bridges the gap between hospital and home, allowing our medical professionals to focus on patient-centered rehabilitation and care, as well as the return transition to home – all within the bounds of a changing reimbursement system.

PATH is just one of the many ways PMMA continues its long-held standard of mission-driven innovation. We are committed to staying abreast of health care reform and understanding what these changes mean for you. Just as Velvet and I continue to remain a resource for our daughters, I know PMMA is dedicated to helping residents and their families navigate a shifting health care environment. Let us know what questions you may have. Initially, we may not have all the solutions – but together, we’ll find the answers.

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