Signature’s Chief Medical Officer: COVID-19 Crisis Will Usher in ‘New Era’ of Skilled Nursing, Post-Acute Care

March 24, 2020

As both the chief medical officer for Signature HealthCARE and president of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Dr. Arif Nazir has a micro- and macro-level view on how skilled nursing facilities are fighting the coronavirus.

And even in these early days of the crisis, Nazir believes that the sweeping emergency steps the government has taken — from expanding telehealth coverage to waiving the three-day stay rule for Medicare SNF coverage — will make a permanent mark on the industry.

“I do agree a new era of health care is upon us,” Nazir said on the most recent episode of SNN’s “Rethink” podcast. “I really do not believe that many of these things will be reverted back, and they don’t need to be reverted back.”

Nazir joined “Rethink” to talk about what he’s seeing on the front lines as the top doctor for the Louisville, Ky.-based Signature, a leading player in the post-acute and rehab space. But he also used the opportunity to discuss the viability of some of the large-scale ideas that policymakers have floated to beat back the coronavirus tide, from using nursing homes as hospital overflow units to converting existing infrastructure into emergency sites of care.

Excerpts from the interview, condensed and edited for clarity, are presented here. Be sure to download the full episode from SoundCloud, iTunes, or Google Play — and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.