Elderly members of our society are increasing in number at a faster pace than any other age group and the nursing home resident population will continue to expand. Members of the long-term care community consistently rank among the leading population subsets requiring dermatological and wound care attention. Yet the scope and quality of this care is often lacking or suboptimal. Indeed, the majority of nursing home and long-term care residents must rely on facility nurses for both mundane and potentially serious skin care problems. As back up, these nurses frequently turn to the attending family practitioner. Several studies document that patients treated for skin disorders by primary care physicians often fail to receive optimal care. Compounding this problem is the current status of dermatologists in the United States, of which there are approximately 11,000 that serve a population exceeding 300 million. The average wait for a dermatologist office appointment is three weeks and many dermatologists are forsaking traditional practice for more lucrative cosmetic procedures. Dermatologists have scant incentive to visit extended-care facilities creating a huge opportunity Wound & Skin Experts.
There are 70,000 registered home health agencies in the US and more than 18,000 nursing homes. Over 10% of their clients/residents suffer from wounds/ulcerations and an even higher percentage experience dermatologic disorders ranging from scabies to skin cancer. Our target markets, including nursing homes, other extended care facilities, and state wide home care agencies, often lack the expertise and struggle daily with managing dermatology and wound disorders. This may translate into inadequate or delayed treatment, increased liability, and greater cost of care. Medicare is the largest payer source for nursing homes and home health agencies and the government has implemented changes to provide better care and improved outcomes while cutting costs. These include increased payments for telehealth services to be instituted in 2015 (see appendix).
The $120.6 billion nursing home industry is expected to grow by an annual average of 3.6 percent to $144 billion by 2018, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Currently there are few multistate entities providing wound care services to the nursing home and home care setting. There are no companies providing dermatologic care on a statewide basis. Wound & Skin Experts will provide both accomplished by a network of highly trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants linked to board certified physicians through telemedicine.