McKnights: ‘Critical Access’ nursing homes could be game changer: Focused Post-Acute Partners’ Mark McKenzie

While struggling rural nursing homes must innovate to survive, their efforts would be bolstered by a federal program similar to one that provides additional funding and staff resources to challenged rural hospitals.

So says Mark McKenzie, CEO of Focused Post-Acute Partners, which operates 30 skilled nursing communities in Texas. Twenty of those are in rural areas, some in towns with as few as 3,000 residents.

McKenzie has spent more than 30 years in long-term care, a period that included nearly eight years at the helm of Senior Care Centers of America. During that time, he has seen a major shift in the costs of operating rural skilled nursing facilities, complicated by reimbursement that has failed to keep up with increased patient complexity. Add in a staffing crisis that has made costs explode, and many of his colleagues are questioning how they’ll keep their doors open.

“When we talk to our legislators and the public, there’s still that assumption that if you’re in a rural market, your cost of doing business is significantly less than what it is in your major metropolitan areas,” McKenzie told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News this month. “That just isn’t true, and our payroll bears that out …To get someone into our rural markets, you have to sweeten the pot and that’s in their pay and their benefits.”

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Baytown Sun: Coming off COVID, nursing workforce needs resuscitation

By: Mark McKenzie

The dedication, professionalism and commitment from nurses during the raging pandemic is for the most part, indisputable. But if we stay the course on which we presently find ourselves, there will be a dangerous void in the health care delivery system.

There will be far too few nurses and certainly not enough to keep up with health complications of aging baby boomers and a broader population of those with chronic conditions.

The nursing workforce shortage was dire before the pandemic and we have now in Texas and the rest of the nation reached a tipping point. Something has to give.

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The Dallas Morning News: ‘It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love’: What it’s like to work in a nursing home during COVID-19

The employees at Focused Care of Waxahachie end each staff meeting with a group chant.

“RAMP it up!” they yell in unison. RAMP, which stands for “residents are my priority,” is a call to action for the nursing home’s 62 workers, charged with caring for the community’s highest-risk populations.

And it’s evident that the staff members take that message to heart. The nurses; certified nursing assistants, or CNAs; kitchen staff and housekeepers say they know their residents as if they were part of their own family.

As the omicron variant spreads, sickening some employees and forcing others to quarantine, Focused Care’s staff have stepped up, as they did in every previous surge. They work overtime, stay late and answer calls in the middle of the night – all to ensure their residents are properly cared for.

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Baytown Sun: Focused Care donates turkeys to local seniors

By Matt Hollis

Nov 25, 2021


Focused Care has stepped up to the plate in the spirit of Thanksgiving and donated turkeys to the Baytown Senior Center.

Seniors at the center went through a drive-thru to get their turkey and a bag of trimmings complete with stuffing mix, potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and gravy.

“This is fantastic,” Dave Weber, Baytown Senior Center activity director.

Weber said he spoke to Becky Davis, Focused Post-Acute Care Partners Baytown community liaison, to help the seniors out.

“She got a hold of her boss, and they said they would help with anything we ever need,” Weber said. “So, I took her up on it. I asked Becky if she could get this to happen. And she made it happen.”

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