In the May 2013 issue of ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management, Draffin & Tucker’s Jeff Askey, manager, Linton Harris, partner, and Charles Horne, partner, were quoted in the article, “Teaming with the right CPA firm can help boost revenue and keep your LTC facility regulatory-compliant.”
Due to the complexity of the tax code, reimbursement structures and state and federal regulation, many administrators of long-term care (LTC) facilities are opting to outsource accounting and budgetary tasks to qualified CPA firms. Therefore, administrators must take into consideration a few key factors when deciding on the right firm to hire.
The main services that a qualified CPA firm can contribute to the LTC facility include budgeting, reimbursement, corporate structuring and taxation. Horne, who also serves as director of reimbursement for Draffin & Tucker, notes that “as payment systems change, it’s imperative for the skilled nursing and long-term care community to see where they’ll fit in the larger picture of health reform and how they’ll get paid going forward.”
Also, in this rapidly changing industry, “a good CPA will be able to analyze major cost generators and measure them against industry benchmarks to compare,” said Askey. This will help the organization see how they are positioned within the industry.
Draffin & Tucker is seeing a recent trend of governmental hospitals transitioning into private nonprofit entities. These acquisitions and mergers sometimes require Certificates of Need (CONs), which vary widely by state. Harris goes on to discuss that he has “seen instances of [health systems] coming into the state of Georgia, not understanding the system, and acquiring a SNF in a transaction that is not recoverable,” reinforcing the importance of having a qualified CPA team to help in this process.
Choosing to outsource accounting services, corporate advising or tax preparation, is a major feat for an LTC facility, so the primary consideration should be choosing a firm with extensive experience in the healthcare sector. Once a firm has been chosen, Askey, Harris and Horne recommend staying with the partnership for the long term to build an evolving relationship.
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