Do you know about all the changes to the senior healthcare model and the impact these changes might have on investors?

By Pam McDonald

Shep Roylance, Senior Vice President of JCH Consulting Group, a full-service real estate brokerage company and Senior Housing Forum partner, shares some of the highlights of the National Investment Center (NIC) Spring Investment Forum held recently in Dallas, Texas.

He reports that there was emphasis on the changing senior healthcare model and the impact these changes might have on investors and others within the industry generally. He noted the following main talking points on the subject:

  • The median age of nursing home residents is increasing

  • Residents have a higher level of acuity than ever before

  • Medicaid and Medicare will continue to play a role

  • Instead of a cost/benefit model, there’s a shift towards a nonmedical “quality of life versus quality of care”

  • Quality of life measures are at the center of this new model

  • SNFs need to shift their focus and work to provide more social and emotional resources for residents

Senior Living Trends

With the above information in mind, Shep points out a few trends in senior living today, including the following:

  • More and more people are looking to “age in place”

  • Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are expected to become even more attractive to Baby Boomers in the coming years since they provide a high level of options for residents, such as independent living, assisted living, and more.

  • Access to technology will be a must

  • While Baby Boomers are not as high-tech as succeeding generations, a large majority of them have iPads, iPhones, laptops, tablets, and everything in-between. SNFs will need to adjust accordingly. Furthermore, wearable tech for seniors is about to take off, which should also be a consideration for those in senior housing

  • Senior co-housing will be an attractive. Co-Housing represents a cross between single-family homes and communal living arrangements.

  • Senior housing will “go green” as companies adopt more eco-friendly practices, such as:

    • Improving indoor air quality

    • Making changes to meet water conservation measures

    • Weatherizing buildings

    • Switching to renewable energy sources

Participating in a Care Coordination Model

Shep notes that many of the changes in the senior healthcare model involve participation in a care coordination model. He reports that Tom Coble, president of Elmbrook Management Company, identified three top priorities for creating preferred provider networks, as follows:

  1. Using electronic health records (EHR) for interoperability with hospitals and for evaluating the SNF’s own performance

  2. Adding nurse practitioners in buildings to make the care coordination process easier

  3. Extending SNFs business model into services such as home care, hospice care, and Medicare Advantage plans

Technology in an Outcomes-Based Industry

Shep notes that a panel of experts in a “Show Me the Data” session stated that providers face both opportunities and challenges as technology becomes vital to operational success in the seniors housing care industry.

The panel moderator defined four trends underlying the technology push:

  1. industry consolidation;

  2. payment for outcomes;

  3. market disruptions; and

  4. a focus on post-acute care where a large proportion of spending occurs.

One panelist noted that the transformation from a fee-for-service health care system to a preventative system presents the opportunity to create a better quality of life for seniors, and panelists reported the only way to take advantage of the opportunity is through analytics and data.

According to Shep, the Forum emphasized that major changes are expected in senior housing as Baby Boomers continue to enter into their retirement years. The Baby Boomers’ expectation of the services provided by assisted living are drastically different than the expectations of the previous generation.

For more information on the Spring Investment Forum or senior housing investment in general, contact the Shep Roylance at (805) 633-4649. Additionally, to see current featured listing, visit