Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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

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Page 39 of 80 39 August-September 2018 n Seniors Housing Business E x i t S t r a t e g y • C a p i t a l S o l u t i o n s • P a r t n e r s h i p P l a c e m e n t • C o n s u l t i n g Delivering Results. Focused On Solutions. The leading advisory firm exclusively focused on seniors housing and healthcare real estate. g e t i n t o u c h C h i c a g o • L o s A n g e l e s • B a l t i m o r e • D e n v e r • S a l e m Innovation drives new ancillary services Cutting-edge services are finding their way into senior living communities. Many of the new ser- vices leverage technology to make life better for resi- dents, such as on-demand transportation and meal delivery. "Services that drive access to resources and a greater sense of community are the hotbed of inno- vation," says Sarah Thomas, executive in residence at Aging2.0, a tech incubator in San Francisco focused on senior living products. The big trend is partnering with other firms that can provide new services, says Thomas. "Not every- thing has to be done in-house." Approaches vary on how to handle the cost. Some services are included as enhancements to the life enrichment programs of the community, with the costs absorbed by the provider. Other service costs are folded into the base price or added to the bill as extras. Here are four examples of new services: • Cubigo is a San Francisco-based company that offers a digital platform for residents to order meals, request help from maintenance, or view their building's activity calendar and sign-up for events. Residents can also send messages to the staff and read community news in real time. The service is designed to engage residents in a more meaning- ful way, which leads to higher customer satisfaction scores and occupancy rates. • Tivity Health offers SilverSneakers, a fitness pro- gram for older adults. Some Medicare Advantage health insurance plans partner with the SilverSneak- ers program, which offers fitness classes at a variety of locations, including retirement communities. • As smart homes and voice-controlled accessi- bility features continue to become more consumer- friendly and affordable, senior living communities are testing products such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. • Honor, a startup home care company with a technology platform, has dozens of seniors living community partners that fall into two categories, according to Nita Sommers, president of Honor, which is based in San Francisco. Honor can manage a community's home care workforce, or senior liv- ing communities can join Honor's partner network to secure home care workers. For example, Retreat Healthcare, an assisted liv- ing and memory care operator based in Albuquer- que, New Mexico, outsources its home care services to Honor, including recruiting, management and private-pay billing. "There's an increased level of interest in partner models to improve the experience of seniors," says Sommers. Honor currently operates in California, Texas and New Mexico. The company has raised a total of $115 million in funding, including $50 million in May. Honor plans to expand to several new states. — Jane Adler The recent growth of managed care has further complicated the payments system. Many operators opt to partner with third-party providers. "Why go through the red tape to start a physical therapy or hospice business?" asks Maribeth Bersani, COO at Argentum, the assisted living association based in Alex- andria, Virginia. "It's just as easy to use an established provider, especially if you are a multi-state operator." Bickford Senior Living out- sources its home healthcare and hospice services to a third party. The company operates 65 prop- erties in 10 states. Bickford owns 10 of the buildings and leases the remainder, many of which are owned by NHI, a REIT head- quartered in Murphreesboro, Tennessee. For now, each Bickford building makes its own local arrangements for home healthcare and hospice services. But the company is con- sidering whether to contract with one national provider. "A national provider could offer more consistency of care and over- sight," says Bickford's Fairbanks. He adds that it will become more and more important for assisted

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