I am pretty sure I attend more senior living conferences than anyone else I know. I get to hear what other people are thinking and have great conversations about what both vendors and providers are doing to advance how we care for elders.
I am pretty sure I attend more senior living conferences than anyone else I know. I get to hear what other people are thinking and have great conversations about what both vendors and providers are doing to advance our care for elders.
It is for me, the easiest way to get a ton of material for creating content in a very short period of time. While there is a lot of repetitive information, each conference provides new ideas and new data.
Some will turn into full articles and others are just bullet point bits. Beginning with this conference, I will be sharing some of the best bullet point bits. Most will be just a sentence or two, but occasionally there will be a paragraph or two.
2015 Northern CA Healthcare Real Estate Summit
This conference was a bit outside of my wheelhouse and I probably would not have attended except it was just a two hour drive from my house and I had been asked to moderate a panel on seniors housing. The conference orientation and attendance leaned heavily toward Healthcare Real Estate and very specifically Northern California Healthcare Real Estate. Here are the highlights:
- Developing health care real estate projects (medical office buildings, clinics) in a place like San Francisco is not for the faint of heart. Entitlements are time consuming and costs are high.
- Using local consultants in difficult markets can make things move more efficiently and at a lower cost.
- “There will be messes along the way” – Because there will be messes along the way, it is critically important that you have business relationships with people and organizations where there is mutual trust and an alignment of values.
- One of the biggest changes in how medical care is delivered is the end of the solo practitioner physician, though, to date, San Francisco is bucking this trend.
- It is not so much Obama Care that is driving the rapidly changing healthcare environment, but rather the aging population. I am not quite sure I agree with this premise, in that we are so early in the aging bubble that we really have no idea what impact it is going to have.
- Value-based payment in reality is “Blah, Blah, Blah . . .” It turns out that while there is a lot of talk about value-based payment systems, we mostly still live in a world of fee for services. Value-based payment schemes are a great idea conceptually, but no one has quite figured out how to make it work in practice.
- We are seeing more shared risk models, at least in California. I would add that this could be a fertile area of exploration for both assisted living and skilled nursing providers.
- These big consolidated health systems seem to be driving up costs, primarily by reducing competition (and perhaps increasing overhead). This is happening at a time when cost containment is a hot topic.
- There is a lot of interest in moving the “front door,” meaning the place people first enter the system for an episode of care, away from the hospital and more to a clinic setting.
- Free Standing Emergency Departments – I am not sure what if any impact this twist on the delivery of emergency care will have on senior living, but this was something I had never heard of.
There are today about 285 freestanding emergency rooms in 45 states, with Texas being a particular hotspot for these facilities. You might think of them as urgent care clinics on steroids. The four big things you need to know about them:
- They are open 24/7 365 days per year.
- They can handle significantly more critical life threatening cases than can a urgent care or walk-in clinic.
- They charge rates that are comparable to hospital emergency departments, though the fights over charges have already started.
- They all have close affiliation with area hospitals allowing them to transport patients for direct admission when that level of care is needed.
Where they are operating, patients seem to like them primarily because they can substantially reduce wait times.
I would add that I got a chance to meet some new people in the senior living space and reconnect with others I already know.