In Preventative Care, An Opportunity for Operators: Report

Potential opportunities await senior housing operators who adjust their business models to shift more focus to preventative care, according to a report published this month from Alvarez & Marsal.

Preventative care — whether it’s managing ambulatory care sensitive conditions, reducing fall risk or leveraging smart home technology — could lead to higher profits for operators.

In a blog post, NIC offers the sparknotes version of the 95-page report:

An improved quality of life (“living well”) can lead to higher levels of patient satisfaction, an extended lifespan, and increased brand equity. For operators, this changing landscape provides a significant opportunity for competitive differentiation by expanding preventive care offerings either directly or via partnership with a local provider. Done appropriately, this in turn can lead to higher revenues and profitably.

The mammoth report, titled Post-Acute Care: Disruption (and Opportunities) Lurking Beneath the Surface, dives deeper into the subject:

Aging demographics, combined with an opportunity to either directly or indirectly increase engagement in preventive care, increases the relative attractiveness of the senior housing market segment.

The age of senior housing residents suggests an opportunity to increase engagement in resident health and wellness. Opportunities exist to reduce the frequency of ambulatory care sensitive hospital admissions; i.e., those amenable to prevention. Elderly residents often have multiple chronic conditions. Given their knowledge of resident medical history and prescription drug use, and their ability to identify changes in physical and mental status, as well as activity levels, senior housing personnel are well positioned to serve as an “early warning” system for other providers to diagnose, manage and treat a variety of chronic conditions subject to acute deterioration. Improved health is likely to prolong life expectancy; i.e., residence time.

Technology’s role:

Technology can potentially serve as an important adjunct for the identification of changes in resident status, as well convenient provider access. Smart home technology, also known as the “internet of things,” can monitor activity levels and the environment. Passive and active sensors can monitor physiologic parameters, location and position. Fall prevention is critical to not only residents, but also liability. Remote monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature and weight is desirable, especially for patients with more than four to five chronic conditions, the threshold for rising Medicare costs. And lastly, telemedicine represents a convenient and cost-effective method to triage patients.
Read the full report here.

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