Comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing in a family atmosphere
Regent Care Center of Reno is a Nursing Home and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) that provides medical and rehabilitation services for seniors and others who have serious illnesses or disabilities, twenty-four hours a day, delivered by registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nurse aids (CNAs). The facility is operated by Regent Care Management Services.
Regent Care of Reno has a capacity of 174 beds and its current patient load is 85 percent, an occupancy rate which compares favorably to other facilities in the area. It provides private, as well as shared, accommodations, and its services include occupational and physical therapy, speech pathology, social work, podiatry, dentistry, pain management, oral and parenteral nutrition, specialized wound care and IV therapy, among others.
Approximately 30 percent of its residents are short term patients and the balance is transitional or long-term. “We have patients from as far away as Arizona, but the majority of our patients come from nearby areas – Reno, Sparks, Gardnerville, Carson City, Minden, Fallon, Fernley, and Susanville,” says Hope Enad, Director of Nursing. Regent Care accepts patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid, a number of HMO plans, Veterans Administration, hospice, as well as respite placements.
Like many other skilled nursing facilities in the country, because Regent Care of Reno accepts Medicaid – which is the combined federal and state-sponsored insurance program – change in the healthcare sector can often be dramatic because of changes in the program’s rules or formulas. For example, Enad reflects that for over five years, the facility had a ventilator unit for patients who required long-term and chronic mechanical ventilation. The facility suspended those operations last year when Medicaid changed its guidelines.
Another change that Enad has witnessed in the healthcare landscape over the last several years, is a decrease in the average age of the patients coming into the skilled nursing environment. “In our facility we are seeing younger and younger patients; many in their thirties, forties, and fifties, nowadays,” she says. “And they are getting a whole lot sicker. Patients that should potentially be hospitalized, are now being transferred to SNFs because there’s been a change in the paradigm when it comes to a patient’s criteria for acute stays. Normally, if you asked me ten, or fifteen years ago, if they’d go to a nursing home, it would be for rehab, or IVs, or wounds. . .but now it’s everything.”
Of course, that change in patient acuity has made it necessary for nursing homes to become more highly specialized and, in some cases, even certified in the higher levels of care that they are increasingly required to provide to their residents. Regent Care of Reno is no exception to that dynamic – having specialized in one important aspect of nursing home services. “We’re known in this area for our wound care skills,” says Enad. “We have WOCN (Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society) – certified, nurse practitioners on board. I’m wound-care certified as well, and can also do sharp debridement. (Sharp debridement is a surgical procedure that uses scissors, scalpels and other sharp instruments to cut away or remove necrotic tissue.) That’s one of the things that we see a lot of – more significant, compromised kinds of wound situations.”
Because so many of Regent’s patients are experiencing shorter stays due to insurance limitations, Enad says that her staff must take a more aggressive approach to all levels of treatment while many times partnering with home-health, which follows patients upon discharge so that they don’t cycle back to the hospital. “Home health is used the majority of the time,” she says. “The challenge for us in this setting is ‘how can we make their stay short and keep them safe when they arrive home?’ So, it’s a lot of rehab and teaching patients how to care for themselves.”
One thing likely to help in that regard has been the recent re-opening of Regent Care’s out-patient rehab facility. “We have been licensed for some time for out-patient rehab” Enad notes. “We have noticed an uptick in request for out-patient (at home) rehab and we also provide rehab at several local, assisted- living facilities.”
Enad believes that one of the best things about Regent Care is its medical directors, who are “very well-known and very well-respected in their area.” One of those directors is Dr. Newton G. Yco. He believes that “the number one thing that differentiates us from other facilities is the longevity of the staff. There have been people here for 15 years – ever since this building was established.” Dr. Yco also stresses that Regent differs substantially from many corporate nursing homes. “I think we take a more individualized, more tailored approach to our residents,” he relates. “People here are very family-oriented; you’re not treated like a number. I see it as much different than the average facility in the industry.” Enad, who helped open this facility in 2000, adds that the majority of nurses and CNAs who, in the past, may have departed for “greener pastures” and, perhaps, better pay, often end up coming back to Regent Care as their preferred place to work.
Regent Care spends very little on advertising. Most of its good publicity comes from word-of-mouth. “We tend to have a lot of patients that have been here before, or had a loved one here before,” says Enad. “Most patients who come in here have a family that tours the facility. On a seven-day-a-week basis, we have potential clients touring our facility. We tell them to talk to other families, talk to the staff, go to other facilities and choose the place where they’re most comfortable. We establish that relationship from day one and we always tell them, if there are any issues, let us know right away, so we can correct them promptly.”
Enad says “There is a plan to do minor refurbishing of the building.” In the meantime, Regent Care Center of Reno will continue to serve the medical and rehabilitation needs of its patients with expert nursing and individualized attention in a warm and welcoming family atmosphere.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Regent Care Center of Reno
WHAT: A nursing home and skilled nursing facility
WHERE: Reno, Nevada