In our last post, we described the five-part Care Model of Senior Housing 2.0. Part of the difficulty of achieving this care model – and the $1 trillion opportunity that comes with it – is the collaboration needed.Background

As a reminder, here are the five components needed in the Care Model of Senior Housing 2.0:

  1. A primary care provider. We recommend a nurse practitioner.
  2. A care coordinator. We call her the “emcee” or “care concierge.”
  3. A community with nutritious meals, transportation, and social support.
  4. Ancillary service providers. We recommend therapists, pharmacy and possibly non-medical home care.
  5. An electronic record and communication platform that everybody described above uses. For each resident, this system provides a record of conditions and care over time. It allows real time communication and for all the people involved to be using the same information play book.

The first three components are readily available in an existing seniors housing and care community or can be staffed into the existing operating model (That said, for the business of medicine laws in certain states, the primary care clinician may need to be hired and managed by a separate entity).

Components 4 and 5 usually require collaboration with a set of partners.

How to Think About Partnerships – And What to Look For

Seniors housing and care communities are no strangers to partnering with community providers such as therapy agencies, pharmacies, and other ancillary providers.

However, co-location is different than coordination of care. Co-location sounds like this: a community provider is given access to a building to provide services to residents.

Instead, coordination of care in our Care Model sounds like this:

  • Your providers must use our common electronic platform even though it may mean data re-entry into two systems.
  • You need to guarantee that we have a set of consistent providers. We cannot have different people show up every few weeks, which is common in healthcare. Our residents must see the same faces.
  • Your providers will work certain hours that work for our residents (instead of coming on a schedule that works for your agency.)
  • All of the providers need to agree to use the same communication protocols and data metrics.
  • The emcee or care concierge must be accepted as the bridge between the community care team and the ancillary providers; they are part administrator, auditor, and coach.

Why Partner – And Case in Point: How Juniper and Genesis Rehab Partnered

Most seniors housing and care operators do not want to build and offer ancillary services. The ones who have see inconsistent performance: these service types require different business models to operate profitably.

Instead, we recommend partnering to achieve the aims of the care model. Growing a partnership relationship means both sides benefit. As a seniors housing and care operator, you attract ancillary providers with the promise that they will get more patients. In return, we encourage you to be firm on demanding that your partner provides services on a set of Care Model terms (which are written and signed in the partnership contract).

Let’s look at the case of Juniper and Genesis Rehab. CEO Lynne Katzmann and then-President Dan Hirschfeld agreed on a set of operating principles. And then they made sure that they had a written agreement following the specifications of the Care Model. For instance, to comply with the terms, Genesis therapists actually did double data entry – into their own EMR system as well as Juniper’s PCC system.

Sure, some therapists have complained. But Genesis Rehab’s leadership has been firm about meeting the terms of the Care Model to make Juniper’s Connect4Life Care Model a success. And both sides have benefitted from the collaboration.