“The number one thing about managing patients is knowing where they live and having ‘eyes’ on them.” —Steve Rodgers, CEO, AccentCare Inc.

With aggressive growth plans, home healthcare and hospice provider AccentCare is expanding its footprint not only with acquisitions but also by collaborating with seniors housing facilities.

In December, Dallas-based AccentCare Inc. created some buzz with the acquisition of Steward Home Care and Hospice. It was owned by Steward Health Care, which operates one of the largest ACOs in the country and owns 36 hospitals and a variety of other healthcare centers. The deal was one of several acquisitions made by AccentCare since 2017.

Less recognized is the fact that AccentCare grew its home healthcare business in seniors housing facilities by 20 percent since 2017. Its hospice business in seniors housing facilities grew over 35 percent last year.

“Seniors housing is one of our fastest growing books of business,” said Steve Rodgers, CEO at AccentCare. “In the next three years, we will double our population inside of senior living. It is one of our principal focuses.”

AccentCare provides home healthcare, hospice and personal attendant services across 16 states. The company operates in some of the largest Medicare markets, including Los Angeles, New York City and Dallas. With the acquisition of Stewart—which has a large presence in Massachusetts—AccentCare will provide services to more than 110,000 patients annually.

AccentCare currently has a census of more than 4,000 patients living in seniors housing facilities, primarily in assisted living and some independent living units. The company operated in nearly 2,500 seniors housing facilities last year.  (The company also operates in skilled nursing facilities which are not included in the seniors housing numbers.) “We have whole programs and dedicated groups of people at AccentCare who focus on seniors housing,” said Rodgers.

Seniors housing and AccentCare share the same goal, noted Rodgers. “It’s to keep those residents and patients aging in place.”

AccentCare’s services range from full medical and therapy teams to a tailored package to meet the needs of the facility. An 80- to100-bed seniors housing facility with 10 to 15 AccentCare patients represents an efficient formula, said Rodgers. “With a concentrated patient base, we can support a facility and its patients with a dedicated, well integrated team to create a higher level of continuity of care.”

Rodgers expects more collaboration between seniors housing and home health in the years ahead, especially as companies like AccentCare enter into risk-sharing contracts with managed care companies.

“The number one thing about managing patients in risk-sharing contracts is knowing where they live and having eyes on them,” said Rodgers. “Seniors housing is the perfect place because that’s where seniors live.”

For example, AccentCare conducted a pilot program where it leased units at an assisted living property and provided home health services to the patients as an alternative to skilled nursing. “Seniors housing is the best place for slightly higher acuity patients or for those who need skilled care,” said Rodgers.

Another point of collaboration is emerging around the new rules for Medicare Advantage programs that now have the ability to pay for some non-skilled in-home care, including at senior living properties. “The insurers are weighing in carefully,” noted Rodgers. “They are putting together packages around post-discharge services with a defined set of benefits for a specified period of time.”

As the number of elders living in seniors housing continues to grow, Rodgers expects partnerships with senior living companies to expand. “It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “We are looking to create innovative programs to serve an aging population.”