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Proven Strategies to Drive Occupancy in Assisted and Independent Living

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If your goals are to attract new residents, preserve occupancy, and keep your residents happy, healthy, and aging-in-place, you must take action!

This article highlights examples and best practices in play at some of the nation’s leading senior living communities who harness the expertise of a trusted rehab partner to address census challenges. By enlisting a reputable rehab company to provide onsite therapy services (at no additional cost) and concierge wellness services, these communities have utilized clinical programming proven to:

  • Enhance resident satisfaction

  • Reduce attrition rates

  • Serve as the “anchor” for the following strategies to successfully drive and protect census

Strategy #1:  Specialized, niche programming

Differentiate your community from market competitors. Experienced rehab companies customize programs designed to enhance resident safety and well-being. Fall Prevention, Memory Care and other programs are important health/wellness offerings that attract new move-ins and support aging-in-place. Therapists will market positive performance outcomes to the community and referral sources.

Strategy #2:  Care for the “sicker sooner” resident

Stay aligned with healthcare reform initiatives; hospitals and SNFs are now incentivized to drive down costs, to mitigate rehospitalization rates and to discharge residents to the next level of care according to length of stay expectations. What do these trends in care delivery mean for senior living communities? Industry experts predict that acuity in senior living will continue to rise and require much more clinical support to successfully age-in-place. That is where therapy services become critical!  Onsite rehab provides early intervention as well as training and education to support interdisciplinary teams to meet the needs of a more dependent population of seniors.

Strategy # 3:  Leverage a “virtual” care continuum  

Sophisticated therapy service providers help foster alliances with upstream referral sources and downstream providers. For example, a rehab company with established relationships with regional hospitals or SNFs offers better access to discharged patients from those partner facilities.  

Additionally, rehab companies that execute on cross-continuum programs can drive positive outcomes and ensure safe transitions from one level of care to the next. Therapy companies like HealthPRO Heritage (a Senior Housing Forum Partner) -- who provide on-site Medicare Part B therapy -- will also staff preferred home health agencies (to provide consistent staffing/programming as residents move between levels of care. Positive outcomes generated by this progressive approach are shared with referral sources to demonstrate value and to showcase your community’s innovative approach to building “Win-Win” partnerships.

Strategy #4:  Short-stay options for long-range success

Backfill open units by inviting seniors to take advantage of short-stays to help achieve/sustain budgeted occupancy and NOI. Naturally, these short-stay occupants can be encouraged to eventually convert to move-ins by showcasing the community’s amenities that meet their lifestyle needs (e.g.: sophisticated, robust therapy/wellness services).

Strategy # 5:  Use data to drive decisions: Turn to market analytics and metrics to support strategic planning

Trends related to regional dynamics (such as market share, referral patterns, quality measures, etc.) should inform operational, strategic, and marketing initiatives. Likewise, performance data -- made accessible by savvy therapy providers -- is used to build alliances with high-quality, “preferred” home health agencies and in-network providers. Likewise, therapy outcomes support the “success stories” you share with referral sources.

Strategy #6:  “Win-Win” partnerships with hospitals 

Senior living is beginning to play a major role in controlling healthcare costs. Help mitigate episodic costs by encouraging residents -- who can forego a skilled nursing stay -- to transition directly to assisted living. Success in this scenario would depend upon several factors, including whether sophisticated therapy services and a quality-driven home health partner can drive advanced care competencies. Based on a recent cost comparison study for an east coast-based HealthPRO Heritage senior living client, this progressive care delivery model has clear financial advantages:  

Establish “win-win” partnerships, without compromising quality care, by enlisting the support of rehab experts with a shared vision for an out-of-the-box approach to care delivery.  

Strategy # 7:  Develop a network continuum where therapy serves as the common factor between levels of care and helps to drive collaborative “win-win” partnerships

Collaborating with a trusted consultative partner with a vision to provide revolutionary, holistic solutions, with dedicated senior living resources, is key to driving relationships. HealthPRO® Heritage’s deliverables include On-Site Therapy, Wellness Programming, Strategic Planning, Education and Execution on Key Clinical Competencies critical for senior living success!

Strategy #8:  Take advantage of resources

Consider the vast amount of resources required to effectively care for special resident populations -- such as those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Enlisting therapy services has been a logical solution for leaders in senior living that realizes the importance of supporting residents, staff, and families with sufficient tools, health literacy, and education to maintain the highest quality care that subsequently attracts and preserves occupants.

To best position your community for optimal census and market share, develop a relationship with a therapy partner who can effectively collaborate with home health to drive clinical programming without adding overhead cost to your bottom line. Senior living communities must take advantage of therapy providers like HealthPRO® Heritage that offer flexible, customized models of support that exceed expectations for census development and quality care.


Contact John Schwaner, SVP of Business Development - Senior Living Division at 615-207-7149 / Jschwaner@healthpro-heritage.com.

 

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