Predictions & Hopes for 2017 from Society Board

March 7, 2017

We asked the Society’s 2016-2017 Board of Directors to tell us their predictions and hopes for 2017. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Arif Nazir, MD, FACP, CMD

I really want to share with you our celebration for an amazing 2016, a great year for us and the organization, where we were able to work on our competencies for physicians. We were also able to partner with CMS and other organizations and really were able to have our voice heard in many different ways. Because our voice, we were able to affect policy. Now all of us have the ability to provide better care, and be able to bill for that more effectively.

Wayne S. Saltsman, MD, PhD, CMD

My predictions for 2017 is that AMDA continues to grow. Obviously membership is key, but it’s more than that. It’s growth in the collegiality and camaraderie that AMDA stands for, it’s growth in the advocacy that we do both locally and nationally, it’s the hope that we are able to help the new Administration understand the needs of our post-acute facilities, and it’s the expectation that we’ll continue to grow in knowledge

Michele Bellantoni, MD, CMD

I feel that AMDA will be the leader in this sector of health care. Through our partnerships with quality improvement organizations, with our partnerships with nursing and rehabilitation specialists, and our enhanced workforce with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and now attending physicians who have competencies in long-term care, we will transform this sector of health care.

Susan M. Levy, MD, CMD, AGSF

First of all, I think we can expect continued change. That’s what everything is about these days. Constantly trying to see how we can innovate. I think our work around innovations is going to be key. I also think that with the release there’s going to be lots of changes with MACRA involved and certainly with the regulatory side in terms of the new regulations and the guidelines around those.

Thomas Lehner, MD, CMD

Certainly, I think we are moving towards a pay for performance and quality measures system versus one based on volume, which I think is a good thing. I think that the patients will benefit, and I think in the long run the physicians will benefit, because I think we all go into this wanting to do a good job.

Naushira Pandya, MD, FACP, CMD

I think this will be a period of great transition for most facilities as we meet the initial phase of the CMS requirements for participation for long-term care facilities. I think there will be practice changes based on the new payment models. More care will be provided at a sub-acute level, rather than long-term care and I think there will be more partnerships and collaborations between hospitals and LTACS and other post-acute and long-term care sites in the continuum.

Michele Bellantoni, MD, CMD

Those who are with us for their short term rehabilitation following acute illness, and we will make for them a continuum of health care that will allow them to flourish as they return to the community, with enhanced physical activity and their ability to respond to their chronic conditions with much more vigor. And for our long-term care populations, we will continue to have for them a home. A true home with those around them who care for them, who love them, and provide them with the most comfort and dignity as possible.

Wayne S. Saltsman, MD, PhD, CMD

My hope for 2017 is that, from my own personal point of view, that transitions continue to improve and that we’re able to create seamless coordinated care for all of our patients who move throughout our health care continuum.

Naushira Pandya, MD, FACP, CMD

I really hope that practitioners will be knowledgeable about geriatrics and the frail elderly. I hope that care will be provided in a more thoughtful manner, rather than some of the things that we’ve done in a reflex manner in response to changes of condition in patients. So I think that, I hope that we will have more bedside evaluations of patients, more discussions with families to guide our care.

Susan M. Levy, MD, CMD, AGSF

In terms of what my hopes are for post-acute and long-term care, and certainly for AMDA in general, is that we continue to be able to explain to individuals and have them embrace the importance of our mission – both around quality and the importance of both a trained, qualified medical director, as well as trained qualified practitioners to provide care for seniors and the most frail and the most ill patients often that can be cared for in our health care system

Michele Bellantoni, MD, CMD

My hope for the coming year for PA/LTC is that we will increase our workforce. As newer physicians, graduates of nurse practitioner programs, and physician assistant programs find our area of practice to be rewarding. We have the expertise in multi-disease management, in interdisciplinary care, and we have the leadership skills, and now we need our new workforce. So my greatest hope is that those younger than me will in fact join us in our ventures

Wayne S. Saltsman, MD, PhD, CMD

And that new providers realize the importance of post-acute and long-term care within our health care continuum and within our future.

Thomas Lehner, MD, CMD

So, I think as we look forward at 2017, I’m hoping that the focus will be on quality. Understanding the payment system I think will be a challenge, as it’s somewhat complex and I think that it will continue to be a focus for all of us in long-term care. I think that other things I’m looking forward to in 2017 is the focus on advocacy for those of us who do only long-term care.

Naushira Pandya, MD, FACP, CMD

I also really would like to see an improvement of the image of the care provided in post-acute and long-term care settings. Currently, the image can be somewhat negative in the public sector, and I really hope that it will improve based on our efforts to familiarize the public stakeholders and families on really how much care and attention and work is done with the individuals residing in long-term care facilities. 

Susan M. Levy, MD, CMD, AGSF

My wishes are that we continue to grow as an organization, that we continue to be recognized as a sector of health care – the post-acute and long-term care community, and I think all these things are positive for both our members and our organization.

Arif Nazir, MD, FACP, CMD

 I really would like to challenge you for even a better 2017. Even though we have a lot of challenges ahead of us, with the changing health care system and the political environment. But whenever there are challenges, there is opportunity. I challenge all of us to be more innovative and think outside the box to face these challenges, and be able to come together to provide the most effective and the best care that we can for our residents. All the best for the new and upcoming 2017.