McKnight’s Articles

2019 Predictions from a Cockeyed Optimist

Spending 20 as a principal in an analytics company, you might think I contemplate predictions in terms of sophisticated statistical models, but this isn’t the case. Instead, I lean on my clinical and overall industry knowledge to predict; then, as able, validate well-honed hunches through data analysis.

Most often my hunches are right, but sometimes not. Fortunately, being wrong is just as interesting, as I wrote about two years ago when, to my surprise, we found no meaningful correlation between the hospital and skilled nursing facility Five-Star ratings.

Some of my colleagues with no clinical or industry experience utilize large, complex, and diverse datasets along with sophisticated modeling to derive their own predictions. Judgment aside, their approach isn’t necessarily better than mine, nor mine theirs. However I maintain that one without the other is like a one-handed clap: a lot of effort, but no impact.

I am a cockeyed optimist. (Literally. Not only do my eyes not align, but I tend to lean more on the optimistic side of the spectrum, despite having recently given up an internal organ to make more room for sarcasm.) So I mean it when I say 2019 holds so much potential and promise for post-acute care, especially skilled nursing. I believe skilled nursing has “got the goods” and the market needs us as much as we need them. Demographics are in our favor, and with emerging payment reform along with transparent metrics, skilled nursing will be the clear winner.

I did an informal survey around the office to get a broad set of the top 13 predictions for 2019 and I’d like to share them with you. There is some cheek in these predictions, but all are grounded in solid insight.

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