Senior Housing Trends: Part III

Health Care and Senior Housing Trends

By Tom Mann, Principal, Executive Vice President

iStock_000010352856_MediumWhat are the implications of the Affordable Care Act to look forward to? What will be the evolution of strategic partnerships in senior living, health care, and technology? How might these trends impact how your retirement community thinks about the future? How might it alter your planning?

Affordable Care Act Implications

The controversial Affordable Care Act is affecting the health care industry in the United States as a whole, but there is one thing everyone can agree on: this act is likely to bring some changes to the senior living industry. Knowing this, we must predict, anticipate, and prepare for these implications.

Firstly, the Accountable Care Organizations’ (ACOs) impact may shorten Medicare skilled nursing facility stays. There may also be changes in compensation becoming based on outcomes, instead of fee-for-service.

Life Plan Communities (CCRCs) that do significant direct admits to healthcare may need to become part of ACOs and track their outcomes. Services will be integrated more into housing, to encourage wellness and prevent problems.

Some key trends include moving away from fee-for-service toward being accountable for a population; payment will be for quality, not for the service. Site-neutral payment; doesn’t matter where you are.

Strategic Partnerships

More and more providers are entering into partnership agreements with like-minded organizations to develop innovative service models, to negotiate health care contracts, and to grow at a more rapid pace than they would be able to otherwise. These partnerships can take multiple forms, but many are increasingly being reorganized as joint ventures. The 2014 LeadingAge Ziegler 150 survey results revealed that roughly one-quarter of the largest not-for-profit providers are engaged in some type of formal joint venture. The largest proportion of the 24% reported that they are in a joint venture with another senior living provider or a hospital/healthcare system.

Partnerships create significant opportunities for advancement in the senior living, health care, and technology fields.

Broadmead Senior Living Center Dining Facility

Broadmead Senior Living Center Dining Facility

Some examples from two of our clients:

Broadmead, a CCRC in Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins HealthCare, LLC, are working to create centers of excellence in two critical areas of aging services: dementia care, and health and wellness. For the dementia care center of excellence, the team will develop a program that combines current best practices in dementia care with forward-thinking approaches and evidence-based research. Programs and services developed through the Broadmead/Johns Hopkins HealthCare collaboration will reach beyond providing care to residents and will also provide resources, support and education for professional caregivers, family caregivers and other family members affected by a loved one’s dementia.

Broadmead’s second center of excellence initiative, in health and wellness, will investigate a variety of dimensions of wellness, including physical, intellectual, social, vocational, spiritual, environmental and emotional, to develop a signature, evidenced-based program that promotes healthy aging, maximizes residents’ independence, and minimizes the effects of disease. Like the dementia care center of excellence, it will explore how residents’ health and wellness needs—including exercise, nutrition, socialization, intellectual engagement and more—are best met throughout the community, whether the resident is in independent living, assisted living or comprehensive care. The findings will help determine which programs really make a difference in terms of maximizing health, wellness and overall quality of life.

Vitalize 360 is a joint venture between two not-for-profits: Kendal Outreach, LLC, a subsidiary of Kendal, a system of communities and services for older adults; and Hebrew SeniorLife, a non-profit affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

Vitalize 360 is a coaching and assessment process for older adults that uses art and science to promote optimal wellness for successful aging. The program combines an award-winning, innovative, person-directed approach to wellness coaching with the power of information derived from a scientifically-grounded assessment system. The mission is to engage, challenge and inspire older adults to live a full, healthy, vibrant life and enable communities to demonstrate appreciable improvement in successful aging.

Next Up: Senior Housing Trends, “Technology/Housing”



Part I, Senior Housing Trends, “What does the future of senior housing look like?”

Part II, Senior Housing Trends, “What do senior housing prospects want?”


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