Numerous recent headlines, many of which can be found here on the seniorcare.nic.org resources page, detail how real-world business decisions are increasingly driven by value-based care. NIC carefully curates and regularly updates a list of links to stories, providing site visitors a single source for all the news relevant to business relationships and strategic collaboration between seniors housing and care and the healthcare industry. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve posted over 130 stories from more than 50 publications.
If you haven’t had a chance to keep up with our regularly updated headlines, here are a few recent samples pulled from the site that reflect how businesses are adapting, launching new partnerships, inking new deals, and changing the way America’s seniors are housed and cared for.
The May 30 Senior Housing News story: “Health System Collaboration In the Works as Solera Senior Living Expands”, by Tim Regan, reveals a strategy to leverage a strategic partnership designed to improve outcomes, lower costs, and differentiate a brand in competitive markets. Reporting that Solera is working on “striking a deal with a large health care system for a forthcoming 60-unit community in Las Vegas,” the story quotes Solera founder and CEO, Adam Kaplan: “This partnership with the health care system, there’s a lot we could benefit from in terms of research,” Kaplan said. “We could help refine what works within this category and then ultimately go and even look to scale it up and bring this product to multiple locations throughout the country.”
On the decision to align with a health care system, Kaplan, who is a graduate of NIC’s Future Leaders Council program, said, “Solera is a hospitality company. That’s our expertise, we’re not cutting-edge in terms of health care, so aligning with a health care system could be very accretive for us.” In the story’s final lines, Kaplan alludes to another type of benefit: “I’m a believer that senior living is moving more toward the hotel business. I like businesses where you can differentiate and provide something that is more valuable to people.”
A June 4 story in Modern Healthcare, “CVS to aggressively expand healthcare services in stores”, by Tara Bannow, was just one of many outlining CVS’ plans to convert about 15% of its existing clinics into HealthHUBs, which will be more staff-intensive, with more rooms than the current MinuteClinic model. On the heels of its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, CVS announced plans to launch 1,500 “HealthHUBs” in its stores by the end of 2021. CVS plans to provide a more personalized experience to customers, going beyond current services to handle more everyday health care needs. The story quotes CVS Pharmacy President, Kevin Hourican: “By covering health and pharmacy data, we are better able to target the products and services that will help that specific member on their path to better health.”
Skilled Nursing News, in a June 2 article, highlights a type of partnership that promises to improve outcomes, lower costs – and improve a brand’s appeal to potential residents. In “Consulate Tackles Care Transitions with New Skilled Nursing Data Partnership,” by Alex Spanko, Florida’s largest nursing home provider describes the difficulty it has had sharing data with up- and down-stream providers. The story quotes Consulate’s Chief Information Officer, Mark Crandall, commenting on the many roadblocks to sharing data: “I understand that that was the way it’s been done, but when you have electronic health records that have really penetrated most of the market by this time, it doesn’t make sense to not partner with technology companies that can translate from one provider to another in a common language.”
The story highlights Consulate’s new partnership with Cottonwood, Utah-based Collective Medical, “a provider of software that follows patients from the hospital to the post-acute facility to home.” Providers in the network can access patient information regardless of their location, “allowing staff to potentially send the patient back to the SNF instead of admitting him or her to the hospital.” The partnership hopes to reduce reimbursement issues and penalties associated with hospital readmissions, as well as hits to the company’s Five-Star Quality Rating System statistics. The story ends with the observation that the arrangement is also hoped to boost the brand: “There’s keeping patients comfortable in our care centers once they arrive, and making sure that the community understands the level of service that we can provide in our care centers and our community,” Crandall said.
Reporter Tim Mullaney’s story, “Designing Senior Living for a New Hospitality, Health Care Paradigm”, published April 30 in Senior Housing News, focuses on new architectural approaches that better blend hospitality and healthcare functions. As the story’s first line states, “Senior living communities are beginning to take a new approach to blending hospitality with more robust health care, in a trend sure to influence future developments.” Mullaney writes that, “Now, residents are entering senior living older and frailer; at the same time, health care systems and payers are beginning to appreciate how senior living providers can help them manage high-risk populations, creating new opportunities for business partnerships.”
The story offers numerous design ideas that facilitate more robust health care services within a given property, while maintaining a hospitality-oriented atmosphere. Architecture firms are recognizing a developing demand for such designs. “Perkins Eastman has been talking about convergence in the marketplace and because we do both health care and senior housing, we’ve been seeing it happen,” Perkins Eastman Principal Leslie Moldow is quoted as saying.
Finally, regional outlet, Crain’s Cleveland Business, reports on a local senior care chain that is actively partnering with health care providers. In “Senior care chain targets post-acute market”, reporter Judy Stringer writes a story that encapsulates why many industry leaders are collaborating with hospitals and other health care providers. The third-generation family business has expanded from humble nursing home beginnings to become Geauga County’s largest provider of post-acute care.
The story details how the business is filling a need to provide care in a lower-cost setting, working closely with local physicians and clinicians who come on site to treat patients, and “strengthening ties with area health systems to strengthen its connections to acute-care settings (i.e., hospitals). It also recently launched a collaborative partnership with another family-owned business, Physicians Ambulance, aimed at mitigating unnecessary hospital readmissions.” The piece ends with a quote from Kurt Ingersoll, vice president of operations, “We are trying to imagine and prepare for a world where patients are not relying solely on the acute-care hospital but on downstream partners as well,” Ingersoll said. “We believe that is what is coming.”