Seniors Housing Business

JUL 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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26 Seniors Housing Business n July 2018 By Jane Adler Amid a government push to improve health outcomes for frail elders and reduce costs, for- ward-looking senior living providers are reach- ing out to form new partnerships with health- care organizations eager to adjust to the new reality. Independent living and assisted living com- munities are creating novel programs and alli- ances with physician groups, hospitals and ancillary healthcare service providers such as hospice and home health companies. Skilled nursing facilities — already part of the healthcare continuum — are fine-tuning their approach, adding specialties such as chronic disease management. In April, nonprofit health system ProMedica announced that it would acquire skilled nurs- ing home giant HCR ManorCare in a partner- ship with real estate investment trust Well- tower (NYSE: WELL). A lot of experimentation is underway, and partnership models between healthcare and housing providers are still evolving. Analysts are also watching a Medicare Advantage rule change that could allow some reimbursements for services to assisted living properties. The Centers for Medicare & Medic- aid Services (CMS) is expected to provide more guidance before Medicare Advantage plans must submit their program designs for 2019. The impact of today's emerging healthcare models, such as bundled payments and man- aged care, can vary greatly from one commu- nity to another. No single approach works best. Meanwhile, some senior living companies have taken the potentially risky step of launch- ing their own health insurance plans (see sidebar). Success stories are starting to emerge. Senior living providers are leveraging healthcare part- nerships to boost occupancies and lengthen the stay of residents by keeping them healthy. Here a few short case studies of how senior living and care businesses are profiting by part- nering with healthcare organizations. Juniper Communities: Connect4Life Program Over the last several years, Juniper Commu- nities has pioneered the Connect4Life program, which adds healthcare services to a traditional private pay assisted living model. Juniper oper- ates 24 buildings and owns most of them. The company recently launched a third-party man- agement division. The Connect4Life program contains three components: 1) Primary care and other ancillary healthcare services are delivered onsite. 2) Electronic health records are used to give care team members up-to-date infor- mation on test results and medications, and to provide a means to communicate about resident issues. Each Juniper community documents more than 90 health measures to identify trends for early intervention. 3) An on-site coordinator, or navigator, con- nects the resident and healthcare providers and also acts as the communication coordinator among providers. Juniper took the extra step in 2017 to docu- ment the results and resident outcomes of the Connect4Life program. The company retained Anne Tumlinson Innovations, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., to compare Con- nect4Life outcomes for more than 450 residents in 10 separate assisted living buildings with the broader Medicare population. The results showed that the hospitalization rate for Juniper residents was about 50 percent lower than the wider Medicare population. The study also examined readmissions, a measure for which hospitals can be penalized. Juniper's rehospi- talization rate per 100 admis- sions was 80 percent lower than a similar Medicare population. The study results also revealed that the length of stay among Juniper residents was 12 percent higher than it was before the program was implemented. "We are putting together information that we can deliver to hospital discharge planners so they know what we can offer," says Lynne Katzmann, president & CEO at Juniper based in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Best advice: Collect data on outcomes and educate local health systems about the results. Elmbrook Management Company: ACOs Physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs) can make good partners, according to Tom Coble, president of Elmbrook Manage- ment Co. Based in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Elm- brook owns and operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living building. Elmbrook focuses on physician-led ACOs Can We Be Friends? n Operations Senior living providers are figuring out how to forge successful partnerships with hospitals and other healthcare providers. Juniper Communities coordinates healthcare for residents with its Connect4Life program. Anne Tumlinson ATI Tom Coble Elmbrook Management

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