The Rise of Super SNFs and their Impact on Long-Term Care

“Super SNFs” are reinventing post-acute care. These medical resort facilities are designed to be a one-stop-shop for patients in need of long-term treatment, marrying complex care and high quality of life.

In any industry, innovation is necessary to stay afloat. Healthcare is no different. Post-acute networks like Illinois-based Symphony have found opportunities to develop these luxurious long-term senior living establishments. Super SNFs have gained particular traction in the Midwest and southern regions where a certificate of need is not necessary to build new healthcare facilities, thus encouraging competition. Many of these state-of-the-art facilities have waiting lists of patients seeking an alternative to the traditional model. So, what makes them stand out among other post-acute facilities?

Championing Clinical Excellence

Super SNFs bring a new culture of innovation, both clinically and experientially, to the healthcare industry.

Super SNFs welcome clinically complex patients and are equipped to handle medical complexities such as hemodialysis, tracheotomies, vacuum-assisted wound closure, and intricate outpatient procedures. Many of these facilities also partner with specialists to bring other clinical capabilities under their own roof, allowing patients to stay in one place while they receive treatment.

Beyond specialists, super SNFs differentiate themselves by attracting and retaining top talent. To deliver complex clinical care, super SNFs hire highly-skilled clinicians, offer equal or better compensation compared to hospitals and clinics, and provide a more attractive, inviting work environment.

Additionally, super SNFs embrace new technology and methodologies to support their modern clinical programming models. Many of these facilities participate in the Medicare-backed Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) quality improvement program. The program pushes facilities to reduce readmissions, cut costs and avoid penalties through tools and resources to better identify, manage, and track potential problems for hospitalization.   

Experiential Focus

Super SNFs prioritize the delivery of a complete experience for their patients.

Attractive facilities and amenities are not only more desirable for patients, but also for the families and friends who visit them. Many super SNFs call themselves “communities,” shifting the focus from a treatment center to full living and wellness experience. Super SNFs are differentiating themselves down to their brand and mission, not just their clinical approach.

Most super SNFs intentionally develop an experiential culture by hiring staff from hospitality industries. For example, each Symphony site employs a director of customer experience to help lead the charge of high-touch customer service, including personal favors like picking up special meals for patients. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson of super SNFs is to embrace innovation and personalization in a way that’s most suited to the facility’s unique patient population. Facilities have to find ways to integrate technology beyond basic requirements and think of ways they can further improve the patient and caretaker experience. Traditional SNFs can be creative in adding high-touch elements, no matter how large or small the resident population. 

After all, as patients continue to take control over their own care, these personalized touches will become key differentiators in an increasingly competitive space.

Check out our blog on post-acute care referrals here.